Friday, June 21, 2024

ABC Turning Over New Year’s Day to Barbara Walters with Two Hour Special at Night, Tributes All Day


ABC is turning over all of tomorrow basically to Barbara Walters. That’s as it should be, I guess. She filled their hours over decades with celebrity specials and exclusive interviews.

Sunday night from 8 to 10pm there’s a two hour special featuring all of her greatest hits. There are interviews with all of the ABC News people including, and this should be good, Diane Sawyer. Barbara was incredibly competitive with Sawyer, often demanding that she get first crack at big name interviews. Sawyer’s no slouch, so they really went mano a mano.

All day tomorrow as well on there will be highlights from Walters on “The View.” Barbara had a unique deal on “The View.” She co-owned it with the network. When they forced her out in 2013 they had to buy her out also. She lost control of the show after steering it from day one when she invented it.

And then of course when “The View” returns live next week, we’ll see rending of garments, and so on from Whoopi and Joy — I don’t think the others even knew Barbara — and maybe we’ll see some of the other former hosts show up. Barbara didn’t have much use for Elizabeth Hasselbeck or Debbie Matenopolous, but I’ve no doubt Walters is their personal hero now.

Sorry to be cynical, but the after glow today is a little blinding considering what really went on. Let’s see how long this love fest lasts.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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