On Watch What Happens Live on Thursday, the actress was asked about rumors she was a finalist for Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s spot in 2013. That year, both Hasselbeck and Joy Behar left the daytime show and ultimately Jenny McCarthy was named the replacement.
“I went through a week of being on the show,” Shields recalled to host Andy Cohen of her try-outs. “I did all my homework. I take everything very seriously.”
However, her hard work hitting those hot topics was for naught.
"They called me one day,” Shields said. “I was directing Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl and I'm in the parking lot and I get a call from the producer. He says, ‘We've decided to go with Jenny McCarthy.' And I was like, ‘OK.’ I mean, she's a friend, but you want one or the other,” she said of their very different personas.
Shields was very polite, but added with a chuckle, “I think they were going for something different.” She and Cohen then made some funny faces and gestures and Shields then took a long exaggerated sip of her drink.
At the time, it was reported that McCarthy, Shields and Sarah Palin were all contenders for the spot. McCarthy technically replaced Behar, who of course came back, and rotating guest hosts filled Hasselbeck’s seat as she jumped ship to Fox News. The other co-hosts at the time were Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and show creator Barbara Walters.
Of course, McCarthy’s run on the show was short-lived — the controversial personality stayed just once season. Not only didn’t she resonate with the audience, but health experts were upset she was given a platform with her anti-vax stance. In The View tell-all book earlier this year, McCarthy called the experience a “horror show” and compared Walters to Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest.
These days, The View’s co-hosts are the show stars Goldberg, Behar (who returned in 2015), Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman. McCain’s conservative opinions make daily headlines almost daily.
As for Shields and McCarthy, they have remained friendly despite vying for the same job with Shields appearing as a guest on McCarthy’s SiriusXM radio show after.
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