Hello, Barbara? 'Today' Crew Kids About Vieira Returning to 'The View'

In the wake of yesterday's announcement that Rosie O'Donnell will be departing "The View," the folks at "Today" had some fun this morning with the notion that Meredith Vieira, the "View" regular who Rosie replaced there, might return to the ABC gabfest.

As Vieira began a tease, in "Today's" opening, for an upcoming segment on the parting of ways at "The View," weatherman Al Roker shouted from off-camera "are you going to go back?"

Vieira went with the flow, announcing tongue-in-cheek: "So yes, I'll be leaving the 'Today' show to rejoin my friends at 'The View.' Sayanora." That's when co-host Matt Lauer, in the image shown here, picked up the phone, said "Barbara, hold on a second," handed it to Meredith, who continued "Barbara, I'm back there."

View video here.

The banter continued:
VIEIRA: No, I'm not going anywhere -- that I know of.

LAUER: Did you find out the inside scoop?

VIEIRA: Well, I can't tell you everything I found out, but we are going to talk about the reasons behind her departure. What's next for Rosie and what's next for "The View"? I have a lot of dear friends there. I care about them very much.

LAUER: I completely understand.
A bit later, Matt promoted his upcoming "Where in the World is Matt Lauer" adventure by mentioning that he would be giving a clue. That again brought "View" references into play.
VIEIRA: Do you get an extra gift if you guess it right?

LAUER: I don't think there's much fear of you guessing it right. Al's the one who gets it right all the time

VIEIRA, in mock anger, again picking up the phone: Barbara?
That set off several seconds of general mirth and hilarity on the set.

My two cents say that in the musical chairs among Meredith, Rosie and Katie Couric, Vieira has come out the winner. O'Donnell is gone from the "The View" after a stint marred by 9-11 conspiracy theorizing and other outlandish assertions that have further tarnished her already dubious reputation. Couric is on the hot seat at the ratings-deprived CBS Evening News, and already rumors of her departure are being bruited. In contrast, and leaving aside issues of MSM bias for present purposes, Meredith has settled in nicely at "Today," seems to have developed a comfortable chemistry with Matt Lauer, and indeed doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.