Let the betting begin: Who will replace Rosie O’Donnell on ‘The View’?

The following are some names being thrown around to fill Rosie’s “moderator” role on the 10-year-old daytime chat show. Will the producers go for someone a bit more mellow or will they go for another firebrand who will bring in controversy and viewers? We’ll find out soon. In the meantime, let’s judge the potentials based on various Rosie-related attributes.

tjndc5-5f0rqj8zln856zhtkx9_layout.jpgRoseanne Barr
Buzz Potential (will she get people to talk about her): 6.Three words: Star Spangled Banner. That was something! But then again, it was 17 years ago. When was the last time we talked about her?
Bight (willing to take on feuds; has “edge”): 7. Her classic feud with Tom Arnold indicates she’s not afraid to use the media to try to make men cry. But then, Arnold is such an easy target. Will she go after big dogs like Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly? Also, earlier this year, she caused a stir when she said politically active gay and lesbian people never talk about anything that’s “not about them…some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing, and sometimes I wonder.” She later apologized and said she didn’t mean it.

Popularity (do people know her? love her?): 7. She is one of the most popular television actresses of all time, singlehandedly redefining what it means to be a sitcom star. But that didn’t help her syndicated talk-show, which tanked in 2000.
Political Savvy (can she talk intelligently about matters of importance–you know, like co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck does): 8. Comfortable mixing it up with uber-political bully Bill Maher on his 100-miles-an-hour, take-no-prisoner HBO late night political chat show, Real Time.
Experience (does she know how to lead a show?): 5. As stated above—remember The Roseanne Show? No neither do we.

Whoopi Goldberg

tjndc5-5f0rq916o5egbul5kx9_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 6. No major controversies in her past (unless you take into account then boyfriend Ted Danson’s black face performance at her roast), but she is certainly willing to give her opinion, as witnessed by her frequent guest-hosting stints on The View.

Bight: 8. On one such guest-hosting appearance she told Joy to let her finish when the red-head interrupted something she was saying. When her radio show debuted last year, it was subject to multiple prank calls from fans of two satellite radio shock jocks (Opie and Anthony). Goldberg invited the duo onto her show and they had a surprisingly good-natured discussion.

Popularity: 6. O’Donnell has stated she would like to see Goldberg take over for her–but then, I’m not sure how much sway her word has right now with ABC.

Political savvy: 8. Can speak intelligently about national affairs. An avowed critic of the President.

Experience: 8. Apparently she hosts a radio show…and apparently people listen to it. Also, her hosting gigs at the various Comic Relief events since 1990, means she knows how to handle crazy zoos with comics like Robin Williams. Also, not that it has anything to do with hosting The View, but the lady has won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Tony. Can you beat that, Barbara?

Bette Midler

tjndc5-5f0rr1p85sjpf3b2kx9_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 9. The acerbic comedian/singer/actress would be a real coup for the show…but is she interested in the gig?

Bight: 6. Sure, she’s “tough,” but not quite as hard-edged as some of the other contenders. Her tearful send off to Johnny Carson turned her into sentimental heavyweight, not a brawler.

Popularity: 8. She’s succeeding Celine Dion as the headliner at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas, which certainly sounds like a big deal.

Political savvy: 5. Not known as a politically astute diva, ala Barbra Streisand.

Experience: 4. Used to chanting crowds, but never hosted a TV show (though she has sat on plenty of TV couches over the years).

Ricki Lake

tjndc5-5erlluzijg1cn409l0d_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 4. This choice would be far from the front page of most papers. Though her (very) exposing documentary about her own child-birthing experience certainly got people talking. Sweeps idea: Lake helps Hasselbeck deliver her baby live on air!

Bight: 5. Certainly has experience being surrounded by carnival-grade freak-show craziness, but I don’t recall her throwing any chairs of her own. [Wait, note to self, maybe Geraldo should take over for Rosie?]

Popularity: 6. She’s likable and her show had good ratings, but people won’t line the streets for her.

Political savvy: 7. Has worked with controversial filmmaker, Jon Waters, and has spoken candidly about her issues with weight loss and more recently the country’s hospital system.

Experience: 8. She knows how to manage crazy divas looking for fame thanks to her long-running talk show. She’s also somewhat of a go-to person for TV hosting duties (Game Show Marathon, America’s Funniest Home Videos).

Bonus Point +1: She’s a local girl, born in Hastings.

Kathy Griffin

tjndc5-5etu4b04jexaav3ggp7_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 9. Probably the most current and relevant of the major contenders. Her pop culture-infused stand-up act is often shocking and hilarious. But has B. Walters seen the routine she’s done about her?

Bight: 9. Not only does she take on strangers, she takes on her own friends (see her routine about Brooke Shields’ drunken mother).

Popularity: 8. She’s not technically on the “D List” anymore, but not quite the A-list either.

Political savvy: 5. She’s done a number of USO tours to entertain the troupes and she’s outspoken in her criticism of the president (but then who isn’t?), but have you ever heard her discuss politics? Neither have I. Though she has talked about the political suppression of women in the Middle East (albeit, mainly by using stereotypes and cheap shots in her stand-up act).

Experience: 7. Has guest-hosted The View a number of times in the past (most visibly the day after Rosie and Elisabeth had their legendary spout and Griffin fired up the crowd by repeatedly bringing the fight up–even though it seemed like none of the other hosts wanted to talk about it). Besides that, though, her TV experience is limited to her Bravo reality show.

Wanda Sykes

Buzz Potential: 8. Hard-edged comic, not affraid to mix things up. She’s won an Emmy for her stand-up special. But how many people really know who she is (besides the folks who watch Curb Your Enthusiasm)?

Bight: 6. Had a minor tiff with Bill Cosby a while back, after the legendary comic/sitcom star critiqued her diction during the 2003 Emmy awards. Sykes, however, took the high road, saying in an interview with Stuff Magazine she respects the man. But, she added, “Maybe he was just all out of jokes. Maybe he was running on E, you know? He did a lifetime. He’s done. ” And, of course, she fights with Larry David in almost every episode of his improvised HBO show that she appears in.

Popularity: 6. Those who know her, love her. But how many know her? And of those, how many are watching TV at 11am? For most of America, she’s the ubiquitous “best friend” in chick flicks.

Political savvy: 8. Often talks about current events in her stand-up act. And certainly not afraid to touch on taboo subjects such as race and sex.

Experience: 4. Her experience is in stand-up and acting. She’s never hosted a talk show before…but then, Joy was just a comic before she started on the show.

Gayle King

tjndc5-5bp8k5s9bkgqoy4icbq_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 8. Here are four words that will make any network exec drool: Oprah Winfrey guest appearance. And since King has more to say about the talk show titan than anybody else, there are bound to be interesting scoops during Hot Topics (plus, we know, Oprah is one to make surprise calls some times to live shows)…but is there enough, without Oprah, to keep the flame of media buzz burning?

Bight: 6. Not one for feuding…but she’s certainly no wilting violet. King certainly gives her opinions when she guests on Oprah’s show. And–did you see that road trip this year? Hello!

Popularity: 8. Anyone who loves Oprah, also tends to love Gayle. But, that didn’t help her syndicated show, which was canceled for low ratings.

Political savvy: 7. King was a news anchor in Hartford for a number of years, so we can assume she knows what she’s talking about (okay, maybe that’s a big assumption).

Experience: 8. King is tapped into the what-women-want market, serving as editor-at-large on O Magazine, and as co-host of the XM satellite radio show, Oprah and friends. And, of course, there are the hundreds of appearances she’s made on Oprah’s show. And, even though her show was canceled, she earned praise for her efforts.

Bonus point +1: The Greenwich resident is active in many local charities.

Sherri Shepherd

Buzz Potential: 4. At this point, she’s best known as the woman who was sitting between Rosie and Elisabeth during their feud.

Bight: 5. Seemed completely uncomfortable during the fight and even tried stopping it…stopping a fight! On TV!!! Who does she think she is?

Popularity: 6. Her work is mainly limited to guest-starring stints on sitcoms. Though she is a frequent guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. Plus, she was apparently already a leading candidate to replace Star Jones on The View. She’s guest-hosted on the show this past year more than nearly any other potential replacement. There are rumors Buena Vista Television is looking to develop a talk show with her.

Political savvy: 4. By her own admission, she’d rather be watching Dancing With the Stars than the news. Though she does talk openly about issues pertaining to gender and race.

Experience: 7. She’d certainly fit into the dynamic of the show like a glove. But a bit light on independent talk-show experience.

Joy Behar

tjndc5-5ehtdciwhvoqs53a2bu_layout.jpgBuzz Potential: 6. It would be newsy for a little while that the long-time co-host (the only survivor since the beginning, besides Barbara) has ascended to the role of “moderator.” But, it seems like a “safe” choice. Let’s not forget, however, Joy is the one who started the fight between Rosie and Elisabeth by going off on a rant about President Bush.

Bight: 7. Sometimes it seems she just can’t get people to hate her. Even Sean Hannity called her a “lefty” but “kind of funny.” That said, she’s outspoken and recently radicalized. Some of the things she’s said about Bush, Trump, et. al rival many of Rosie’s outbursts even.

Popularity: 8. Hugely popular with fans of the show. And, during the Elisabeth-Rosie smackdown, she had one of the funniest lines ever on daytime TV: “Is there no commercial on this show? What are we, PBS?”

Political savvy: 6. This is just a gut reaction, and it might be unfair, but it doesn’t seem as though her positions are as nuanced as Rosie’s. Although, she’s obviously passionate about issues (and especially riled up about the President), she often deals in generalities and recycled political cliches.

Experience: 10. One point for every year she’s made us laugh on the show.

The score:

Kathy Griffin: 38

Gayle King: 38

Joy Behar: 37

Whoopi Goldberg: 36

Roseanne Barr: 33

Bette Midler: 32

Wanda Sykes: 32

Ricki Lake: 31

Sherri Shepherd: 26

(AP Photos/Reed Saxon, Empire State Building, Donna F. Aceto, Jae C. Hong, Dan Steinberg, Adam Rountree, Paul Hawthorne, Bebeto Matthews)