If doing her final “10 Most Fascinating People” special is momentous for Barbara Walters, she isn’t letting on.
The iconic broadcast journalist is set to retire after the current TV season, meaning many “lasts” for her in the coming months. One of the first of those lasts is “Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013,” this year’s edition of the program she’s done annually since 1993. ABC airs it Wednesday, Dec. 18.
“We wanted a retrospective, because it’s been 20 years,” Walters says to Zap2it. “In 1993, the most fascinating person was Hillary Clinton. We’ve done her three times, and Bill Clinton three times, and Sarah Palin three times. And in each case, it was three years in a row.”
Though the naming of the No. 1 choice is held until the telecast, Walters’ last list includes Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, Miley Cyrus and the cast of “Duck Dynasty,” plus certain people Walters couldn’t interview: Pope Francis, intelligence document leaker Edward Snowden and England’s royal baby, Prince George.
As prestigious as it’s been to make Walters’ “Most Fascinating” group, she notes most lobbying to get in has been low-key: “Usually it’s a joke. If I’m on with Jimmy Kimmel or David Letterman, they’ll say, ‘You mean to tell me I haven’t made the list yet?’ And we’ll say, ‘Well, we did 10. You were No. 11.'”
Many thoughts have come from guests Walters and her co-hosts have had on the weekday ABC program “The View.” She also produces that show with longtime colleague Bill Geddie, and she says, “If something happens, he and I will look at each other and say, ‘You know what? That has to be on ‘Most Fascinating People.’ You just know as the year goes on.”
Though Walters still would be an executive producer, might someone else become the “Most Fascinating People” host? “I don’t know what will happen,” she maintains. “Other people have tried this with the same theme, but not as successfully as ours for some reason. I think the audience expects ours to be a little different.”