Skewing The View on "The View"

9/12/2006 3:15 PM PDT

Skewing The View on "The View"

The denizens of "The View" did a startling switcheroo on their audience today. After walking out, Barbara Walters took the seat at the opposite end of the table from Rosie O'Donnell, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck sat next to Rosie, bringing the two most combustible elements amongst the co-hosts together. Joy Behar stayed in her customary just-right-of-center spot.

Barbara explained that they'd been sitting in the same seats for some time, and that this would "shake things up" a little; Joy then joked that there was an imprint on her chair from all the years of gluteal pressure. And Rosie had piped in on her blog at over the weekend, saying that she thought she looked like "gigantor the spaceage robot" sitting next to Barbara, as she had in week one. In fact, according to Rosie, her physical presence loomed so large that they cut 3 inches off her chair by the second day's broadcast. (An ABC rep says it won't be the last switch and that they're done "at the discretion of production.")

And if "View" watchers were hoping that proximity would ignite some sparks between Ro and Elisabeth, it didn't happen, even though two highly flinty topics came up, gay marriage and the war in Iraq.

But the signal moment of today's show was surely Barbara Walters' suggestion that her dog had talked to her. She told her co-hosts that she leaned down to tell her Havanese dog Cha-Cha "I love you," and that the dog actually responded "I love you" back. It now appears that Joy Behar is now the most psychologically sound person on the show. Stay tuned.