joy-behar-quits-the-view.jpg“The View” is losing one of its original co-hosts: Joy Behar has decided to exit the ABC daytime staple when her contract expires in August.

Behar explained the decision in an interview with Deadline: “It seemed like the right time. You reach a point when you say to yourself, ‘Do I want to keep doing this?’ There are other things on my plate I want to do — I’ve been writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my standup.”

Behar’s departure after 16 and a half years on “The View” leaves creator Barbara Walters as the only remaining panelist from the show’s original 1997 line-up (which also included Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos). But Deadline hints that there may be more changes to come.

Walters recently returned to the show after a multi-week absence due to various health issues, and she may be looking to scale back her role in the future. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who has been with the show since 2003, is also not yet signed to continue beyond the current season. Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd round out the current panel.

During her run on “The View,” Behar also hosted her own short-lived primetime talk show on HLN. She tells Deadline that a similar gig may be in her future: “I want to do an intelligent talk show where you have room to breath.”

But don’t read that as a slam on “The View” necessarily. She had nothing but praise for the show and Walters specifically. “[‘The View’] is a smart talk show because somebody of [Walters’] stature is leading the conversation; Barbara was one of the main reasons I took that job.”

Posted by:gberkshire