'The View' axes Michelle Collins as co-host (EXCLUSIVE)

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
The View Hot Topic: Relationship Qualities to Never Settle For

Almost a year after she started on the program, ABC executives have decided to cut comedian Michelle Collins as a co-host of "The View," Variety has learned.

Collins joined the show last July after a lengthy trial period, where she impressed viewers (as well as moderator Whoopi Goldberg) with her well-timed zingers and commentary. ABC bosses were heralding her as a fresh face of the struggling daytime talk show, but they experienced buyers' remorse shortly after she became a permanent co-host for season 19 last fall.

Starting in January, Collins' co-hosting duties shrank to just one or two appearances a week, and ABC executives recently made the decision not to renew her contract, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. Collins, who is on vacation in Europe, is expected to stay on "The View" through the end of the summer.

"Michelle is smart, opinionated and funny," said an ABC spokesperson. "She's been a great addition to the panel this year. When we are ready to make an announcement about next season, we will."

Rumors about Collins' exit started to swirl almost as soon as she began her stint on "The View." It was a chaotic time on the talk show, with "The View" suffering from a staff exodus—with the departures of co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, and Rosie Perez, following Barbara Walters' retirement one season prior. To fight a steep ratings slide, Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood brought in a new team to revamp the program, including executive producer Candi Carter and consultant Hilary Estey McLoughlin. For season 19's premiere last September, these execs cobbled together a Hot Topics table with six rotating co-hosts (instead of five), to see what would stick.

According to knowledgeable sources, the new managers soured on Collins early, and criticized her internally for sidetracking the Hot Topics debates with personal stories and other asides. In an election year, "The View" has been trying to re-emphasize politics as a way to gain buzz (and has seen an uptick of 9 percent in total viewers from last year's May sweeps). But the 34-year-old personality's areas of expertise were in pop culture, social media and "The Bachelor."

PHOTOS: Michelle Collins and 'The View' cast

26 PHOTOS
The View 2016
See Gallery
'The View' axes Michelle Collins as co-host (EXCLUSIVE)
THE VIEW - Naomi Campbell visits 'THE VIEW,' 3/30/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, NAOMI CAMPBELL, RAVEN-SYMONE´, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - The cast of 'Fuller House' visits 'THE VIEW,' 2/26/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS
THE VIEW - 'The View's' Karaoke Contest airs today, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The co-hosts sing their favorite hits with surprise guest, Jennifer Holliday while L.A. Reid and Boy George judge. 'THE VIEW' airs 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, BOY GEORGE, L.A. REID
THE VIEW - Jimmy Kimmel (ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!') is the guest on 'The View,' Monday, May 16, 2016 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, JOY BEHAR, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JIMMY KIMMEL, PAULA FARIS, SUNNY HOSTIN
THE VIEW - Martina McBride is the guest on 'THE VIEW,' 5/27/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, MICHELLE COLLINS, JOY BEHAR, RAVEN-SYMONE, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visits 'THE VIEW,' 4/25/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, JOY BEHAR, PADMA LAKSHMI, MICHELLE COLLINS, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visits 'THE VIEW,' 4/25/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, PAULA FARIS, MICHELLE COLLINS
THE VIEW - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visits 'THE VIEW,' 4/25/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) PADMA LAKSHMI, MICHELLE COLLINS, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Guests include John Cena; Joey Lawrence; Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin (ABC's 'Black-ish') airing Wednesday, April 13, 2016 on ABC's 'The View.' 'THE VIEW' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, MICHELLE COLLINS
THE VIEW - 'The View's' Karaoke Contest airs today, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The co-hosts sing their favorite hits with surprise guest, Jennifer Holliday while L.A. Reid and Boy George judge. 'THE VIEW' airs 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, VANILLA ICE
THE VIEW - The cast of 'Shark Tank' appears on 'THE VIEW,' (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing Tuesday, 4/12/16 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, ROBERT HERJAVEC, CONTESTANTS
THE VIEW - Guests include David Hasselhoff and Contributor Stacy London on today's episode of 'THE VIEW,' 3/28/16. 'The View' airs 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, RAVEN-SYMONE´, MICHELLE COLLINS
THE VIEW - The cast of 'Shark Tank' appears on 'THE VIEW,' (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing Tuesday, 4/12/16 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBERT HERJAVEC, MICHELLE COLLINS, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, BARBARA CORCORAN, MARK CUBAN, JOY BEHAR, LORI GREINER, PAULA FARIS, KEVIN O'LEARY
THE VIEW - Guests include John Cena; Joey Lawrence; Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin (ABC's 'Black-ish') airing Wednesday, April 13, 2016 on ABC's 'The View.' 'THE VIEW' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, MICHELLE COLLINS, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, JOEY LAWRENCE
THE VIEW - John Stamos and Naughty by Nature visit 'THE VIEW,' 3/4/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, MICHELLE COLLINS, SARA HAINES, JOHN STAMOS, RAVEN-SYMONE´, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Killer Mike, Lori Loughlin and Eva Longoria visit 'THE VIEW,' 2/19/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, MICHELLE COLLINS, EVA LONGORIA, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, SUNNY HOSTIN, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Killer Mike, Lori Loughlin and Eva Longoria visit 'THE VIEW,' 2/19/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE COLLINS, KILLER MIKE
THE VIEW - Barney Frank, former Democratic representative from Massachusetts, is a guest on 'THE VIEW,' 10/23/15 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - The legendary Tony Bennett performs on 'THE VIEW,' 10/23/15 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Coverage of 'THE VIEW,' 10/23/15 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Michael Douglas ('Ant-Man') and Abigail Spencer ('Rectify'; 'True Detective'); senior dogs for adoption with Jill Rappaport airing Friday, July 16, 2015. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, NICOLLE WALLACE, MICHAEL DOUGLAS, MICHELLE COLLINS, ROSIE PEREZ, RAVEN-SYMONEA
THE VIEW - Comedian/writer Michelle Collins was officially named the 15th co-host in the history of 'The View' live this morning, Monday, July 13, 2015. The show welcomed Collins who'll officially start in September when 'The View' returns for Season 19. Collins will make regular appearances until the show breaks for hiatus in August. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Comedian/writer Michelle Collins was officially named the 15th co-host in the history of 'The View' live this morning, Monday, July 13, 2015. The show welcomed Collins who'll officially start in September when 'The View' returns for Season 19. Collins will make regular appearances until the show breaks for hiatus in August. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Comedian/writer Michelle Collins was officially named the 15th co-host in the history of 'The View' live this morning, Monday, July 13, 2015. The show welcomed Collins who'll officially start in September when 'The View' returns for Season 19. Collins will make regular appearances until the show breaks for hiatus in August. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Michael Douglas ('Ant-Man') and Abigail Spencer ('Rectify'; 'True Detective'); senior dogs for adoption with Jill Rappaport airing Friday, July 16, 2015. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) RAVEN-SYMONEA, ABIGAIL SPENCER, MICHELLE COLLINS, NICOLLE WALLACE
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

It didn't help that Collins' time on the show was marked by two unpleasant controversies: ABC lost advertisers after a discussion where she criticized nurses; and in October, she came under fire for mocking Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's face.

Without Collins at the table, "The View" is in the midst of yet another reboot for season 20, which launches in September. Goldberg's contract expires in August, and the network has been in prolonged negotiations to convince her to stay as "The View's" moderator, fully aware that the Oscar-winning actress (who joined in 2007) is a key ingredient to the show's success.

Although ABC bosses were down on Symone early in the season for her lack of knowledge about politics, the ex-Disney star might get a reprieve. Sources say the network is on the fence about bringing her back (with her supporters pointing out that, at 30, she's the millennial voice for Hot Topics). The rest of the panel for season 20 will consist of a combination of current co-hosts like Joy Behar, Paula Faris and Candace Cameron-Bure (who may not return due to shooting Netflix's "Fuller House"), along with one or two wildcard names.


Read Full Story

From Our Partners