Those loose-lipped Fox News informants were on to something when they said Jenny McCarthy was about thisclose to being given her walking papers after just one season as a panelist on The View. The former Playboy Playmate — known for invoking controversy with her outspoken views on childhood vaccinations — announced her departure from the breakfast gabfest on Thursday.
The real surprise came earlier in the afternoon, however, when longtime Viewster Sherri Shepherd confirmed that she’ll be leaving the daytime talk show after seven seasons. In April, former co-host and current View executive producer Barbara Walters confirmed that Shepherd would be returning to the panel.
Of course, that was before Sherri found herself entrenched in a legal tug-of-war with not one, but two, exes. The comedienne’s estranged husband, writer Lamar Sally, filed for divorce in Los Angeles last month. In addition to suing Sherri for custody of a son the former couple are expecting via surrogate in July, Lamar wants their prenuptial agreement nullified on the grounds of fraud.
Then there’s Jeff Tarplay, Sherri’s philandering first husband. He’s probably best known for becoming a punchline in her stand-up routine.
Tarplay recently sued Shepherd for full custody of their young son, Jeff Jr. Jeff Jr. is developmentally-challenged and Tarplay argues that Sherri’s busy work schedule has prevented her for providing the child with adequate care. According to court documents filed earlier this month, at age nine, Jeff Jr. still struggles to tie his own shoelaces.
Maybe Sherri thought quitting her job might give her a better chance of keeping custody of her son? That’s a possibility. Deadline Hollywood, on the other hand, says the split comes down the issue of cold-hard cash. Shepherd and View suits had been in contract negotiations, but according to tipsters the two parties were “too far apart” and could not reach an agreement.
Shepherd wrote in an exit statement:
“It’s been seven wonderful years on The View and after careful consideration it is time for me to move on. I am extremely grateful to Barbara Walters and Bill Gedde for giving me the opportunity. I look forward to the business opportunities that lay ahead for me and I am incredibly grateful to my View family and my fans for supporting me on this journey.”
Late Thursday evening, McCarthy seemed to confirm her departure from the show by tweeting, “If Sherri goes… I go too. #sisters.” That was followed by, “My View will be changing too. As will with many hard working folks. Thanks to everyone at the show for your dedication and an amazing year.”
Jenny, it seems, was simply a production casualty. We hear that since Jenny’s controversial appointment to the cast in September, the still top-rated show’s ratings have taken a dip while ratings for its CBS competitor, The Talk, have continued to rise. According to a short press release from ABC:
“The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively.”
Shepherd and McCarthy’s exit leaves Whoopi Goldberg as the show’s only permanent co-host. Walters retired from the show on May 16 and is scheduled to appear on Friday’s episode as a guest.