ABC execs raised eyebrows last week when they spiked a live appearance by Barbara Walters on the The View, as well as a planned appearance on the TODAY show.
Walters, sources told the NY Post, wanted to make a special cameo on the season opener, but network execs passed on the idea.
Walters did show her face on The View — a show she helped create — though it was in a pre-recorded bit in which she was dressed like royalty, holding court before the show’s updated quartet of Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace.
Walters told the paper she never wished to be on the live edition of the first episode, explaining that she “deliberately taped a piece at the top, gave it my blessing, and now they’re off to the races.”
A source told the paper that the TV veteran “was very happy with the cute piece on the top of the show, where the new hosts kissed her ring” and didn’t want to take the focal point off the new cast with a studio appearance.
“They asked Barbara, and she, in turn, asked ABC,” the insider said, adding that after “a brief conversation,” Walters “decided not to do it to ABC and not appear on the competition.”
As we previously reported, the show’s season premiere racked up huge numbers, garnering 3.9 million viewers, its’ best ratings since 2006, and the second-highest season debut in its’ 18-year run.