When an icon like Barbara Walters departs a show, she can never be truly replaced or exchanged but The View is somewhat obliged to at least try to find a savvy newsperson to fill her seat and provide an authoritative voice for the group. They also have to replace Jenny McCarthy and Sherry Shepherd, which is a much easier task. In fact, they retrieved Rosie O'Donnell from storage and, despite her less than gracious exit from the show years ago, will put her back on the panel, perhaps hoping for a "new and improved" version. And that still leaves two empty chairs on the set.
In show business, especially television, situations can change on a dime, so it is important to have a list of replacements just in case the new (or revived) cast members don't quite click. This list of women includes a fair balance of talented candidates with a wide range of talents ranging from stand-up comedy to political commentary. The key is for them to have the stamina to hold their own against the veterans, five days a week, without losing their tempers or their unique perspectives
10 Kirstie Alley
9 Robin Roberts
Not that The View needs help in the ratings, but if they ever did – and it can happen to the most beloved and longest running shows – Roberts is the woman you want on your team. The Good Morning America anchor was instrumental in edging out The Today Show for the ratings lead they held for years. Roberts' heroic struggle against cancer inspired women around the world, as did her choice to come out as a lesbian and introduce her partner to the public. The View has always prided itself in presenting a diverse panel of strong willed women with distinct points of view and Roberts is a perfect contender.
8 Kathy Griffin
7 Rachel Maddow
The darling of cable news channel MSNBC, at 41, Maddow would be the youngest woman on the panel (the departing Jenny McCarthy is the same age). Her political views skew far left but Newsweek noted that Maddow has an endearing quality that enables her to successfully argue "ideological opponents with civility and persistence." The appeal of abandoning her successful one-woman show to join a team of chattering females five days a week is hard to fathom but Maddow would definitely add a thread of intellectual banter to the festivities.
Although Mo'Nique broke into show business as a stand-up comic, her superior talents as a dramatic film star shone bright in her award-winning roles in such classic movies as Precious and The Help. An outspoken supporter of the acceptance of large women, Mo'Nique's written two highly acclaimed non-fiction books on the topic. She can elicit tears of laughter through her acerbic humor or tears of pathos telling of her real life experiences. While various panel members of the view often come across as one-trick ponies, Mo'Nique would add depth to discussions by being able to switch ponies midstream.
5 Megyn Kelly
As far right as Maddow is left, Kelly's rise to stardom on Fox News began 10 years ago when she was hired as a Washington-based correspondent for the station. A decade later, she has her own weekly show called The Kelly File that focuses on breaking stories of national interest and interviews with noteworthy newsmakers. Kelly's former job as a litigator would guarantee she'd clearly get her points across, above the din of the often loud panel discussions. Her contacts span the national and international political spectrum, so she'd probably be able to lure some big names to the show.
4 Margaret Cho
3 Sofia Vergara
There's a blatant lack of Latin representation on The View. Vergara would fill that gap and her free-flowing comedic delivery coupled with her (often intentional) mispronunciation of words and frank comments about sex and politics would blend well with the current panelists. Full of energy, the Modern Family star exudes a positive vibe The View sometimes needs and the audience would be glued to the screen hoping for comments about her hunky boyfriend Joe Manganiello.
2 Wanda Sykes
1 Katie Couric
Though not quite the icon Walters is, for 57 years old, Couric will be remembered as one of the major newswomen of our time. Through years of being criticized for her squeaky voice and cheerleader spunk and smile, Couric not only endured but emerged a winner on several major networks. Her inquisitive nature and lust for truth would keep The View entertaining as well as informative for years to come.