Raven-Symone's exit from "The View" was probably one of the worst-kept secrets in daytime TV.
ABC officially announced Thursday that the former "That's So Raven" star will leave the talk show sometime later this year to return to the Disney Channel for a "Raven" reboot.
But Raven's departure had been rumored for months, as "The View" continues to struggle with musical chairs at the hosting table. Raven, much like former cohost Rosie Perez, has attracted widespread scorn for some of her offhand comments. In Raven's case, that included remarking that she wouldn't hire someone with a "ghetto name," which led to an online petition for her removal.
For now, producers have no plans to replace Raven-Symone, according to a person familiar with the situation. That's because earlier this year, the show tapped Sara Raines of "Good Morning America" and former CNN regular Sunny Hostin as fill-ins. They will join an existing panel of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Candace Cameron Bure and Paula Faris. Jedidiah Bila, the program's resident libertarian, was recently converted from guest host to co-host as well.
That doesn't mean the drama is over at "The View," of course. Goldberg earlier this year signed on for only one additional season, through next summer, and has made on-and-off noises about leaving. Behar, the only original panelist remaining, was summoned out of retirement last year to help bring some stability to the show.
A new direction might now be needed. "The View" was flat in total viewers, with an average of 2.7 million tuning for last season. But the program slipped 8 percent in its core demographic of women aged 18 to 49.