Musical chairs has long been "The View's" favorite game. Of the ABC show original lineup, only creator Barbara Walters remains on board.
This season was the first in 10 years without Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who departed in June for "Fox & Friends." The oft-controversial host, known for her staunchly conservative viewpoints, was reportedly forced out in favor of Jenny McCarthy.
But while "The View" has held mostly steady in the ratings, Hasselbeck's addition to the cabel show has been a big success. After a month, "Fox & Friends" is up double digits in total viewers and adults 25-54. And last week saw their second biggest ratings of the year, behind only the week of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Not only that, but "The View's" most direct competitor, "The Talk," has lately seen viewership gains. At this time last year, "The View" had a 31 percent advantage in the ratings over their CBS rival; as it stands now, that margin has been whittled down to a mere 7 percent.
"The Talk" got a major boost from its hyped premiere week, during which the co-hosts shared personal secrets including Sharon Osbourne's revelation of her youthful fling with Jay Leno decades ago, and Julie Chen's revelation of plastic surgery, as well as some more sorrowful disclosures. That week was the show's best-ever in ratings and matched "The View" in key female demos.
Meanwhile, "The View" is clearly feeling the heat and recently announced it will tape at Disneyland for November sweeps. Can some of the magic of the Magic Kingdom rub off on the ladies?
Considering the circumstances of her departure from "The View," Hasselbeck can be forgiven if she feels just a tiny bit of schadenfreude.