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Fox News’ O’Reilly, who’s had some memorable tangles with the ladies of “The View,” is also booked for the first month.

“Authors, actors, celebrities and so forth need a place to go,” she said. “And we’re a very good place to go. We’re an intelligent show, we are a stable show, we like each other. … It’s a fun show, and I think they will feel all the more comfortable with us.”

Sound like a pitch? Walters has made a few in her day. Much of the energy she brought to finding big interview “gets” for ABC News is now focused on “The View,” where she usually appears three or four days a week. Firmly establishing the topical niche is a pre-emptive strike against CNN’s Cooper, who premieres his show this fall, and Walters’ ABC colleague Katie Couric. Couric, who was a guest host on “The View” once this summer, begins her own daytime talk show next year.

Geddie also talks about more frequently using panels of expert contributors _ doctors, lawyers and such _ to answer questions. That also sounds very Oprah-like, given the satellite system of contributors she developed through the years.

The competitive approach also extends to cosmetics. Instead of slapping a fresh coat of paint on an old set, “The View” completed a sleek redesign. Gone is the uncomfortable couch where Walters joked some guests nearly toppled over and off the set.

“We’ve always thought of ourself as the little engine that could, and now we’re practically the railroad,” Geddie said. “The landscape is changing, and it’s not just Oprah. The soap operas are going away. At ABC, we were always the third or fourth show behind the soaps and now we’re the No. 1 show. We felt that if we were a big show, we ought to look like it and act like it.”

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On Twitter:

(at)theviewtv, (at)whoopigoldberg, (at)BarbaraJWalters, (at)JoyVBehar, (at)ehasselbeck, (at)SherriEShepherd.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

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Online:

http://theview.abc.go.com/

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