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Checking out 'The View' from L.A.

CHANNEL ISLAND

The N.Y.-based ABC talk show will set up shop at Disney Studios in Burbank for a week in March.

February 02, 2009|Scott Collins

For the first time in four years, ABC's "The View" is headed for Los Angeles.

The morning talk show -- with co-hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd -- will broadcast from the Disney lot in Burbank the week of March 9, with three live shows and two taped for airings later that week, the network said. Scheduled guests include Miley Cyrus, Sally Field, Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria Parker and Jay Leno. (For ticket information, go to abc.com.)

Executive producer Bill Geddie -- known to fans as "the Viewmaster" -- said coming west offers a chance to "revitalize" the show and also tap the Hollywood talent pool. The show last visited Los Angeles in 2005 at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre.

"There are certain people that just never come out" to New York, Geddie said by phone Friday while moving into his new Manhattan apartment, not far from "The View's" home studio. "Like Jay Leno. He doesn't get to New York very much. Kimmel doesn't come here much." Kimmel, in fact, has never appeared on "The View" before, Geddie said.

Geddie also plans to devote a lot of time to exploring the Disney studio's history, especially in animation. While past visits to various cities have been pretty much the same show in a different venue, "this is going to be a little different because we're really going to make use of our environment," he said.

The idea for filming on the lot came when Geddie accompanied Walters to Burbank to pick up a corporate award called the Disney Legend. "I honestly had no idea what a Disney Legend was until she got it," he said. "And I saw the Legends Plaza, and I said, 'This is a nice area to do a talk show.' "

Of course, "The View" being what it is, it's likely that some unexpectedly heated moments will occur, especially during the "Hot Topics" discussion segment that opens the show. During the presidential campaign, the group, particularly Shepherd and Hasselbeck, got involved in raised-voice, finger-wagging political debates. Clips have frequently wound up on the Internet and generated discussion among bloggers.

As a result, "The View" has become a credible stop for A-level political types, which still surprises Geddie.

"I had a publicist come up to me the other day and say, 'You know, I have all these clients, all these stars I can't get on your show. What is going on?' And I said, 'I wouldn't have predicted a year ago that I would clear the boards to put Condoleezza Rice on.' It just wouldn't have occurred to me. But people want to see her."

So is "The View" getting all wonky on us? Well, not exactly. Also on the Burbank guest list are featherweight reality stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.

"This is my personal obsession," Geddie said. "I can't get enough Heidi and Spencer. I must tell you, the women are not exactly in my court on this. I hear: 'Why are you booking them again?' And I say, 'There's something about them that sort of encapsulates the age we live in.' "

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scott.collins@latimes.com

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