Joy Behar's new show will open with a splash this week — Bette Midler, Bay Buchanan, and Janeane Garofalo are scheduled for tonight's debut, with Michael Moore, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, Larry David, and Regis Philbin all lined up — but one person who won't be appearing on "The Joy Behar Show" is Rosie O'Donnell, who turned down her invitation.
When asked whether her former "View" co-hosts O'Donnell or Star Jones would be welcome on her new HLN show, Behar said, "Maybe. I asked Rosie, she wasn't available for some reason."
Behar is referring to the show, which premieres tonight at 9PM, a "variety talk show" and while she's known for her liberal political perspective on "The View," she does not plan for "The Joy Behar Show" to be an overtly political show.
"You can see a lot of politics on a lot of different channels," Behar said. "I'm not interested, really, in talking in some wonky conversation about politics, though. It's not my speed. I'm not interested in the ins and outs of health care."
Further, she said she has some views that may surprise viewers who expect her to offer traditional liberal politics.
"I don't believe in the death penalty, but in Charles Manson's case I would say, 'Just do it,'" she said. "So that's a conservative position. Somebody who commits a heinous crime like that, and we know for sure 100% that they did it, why leave them in jail? Why spend money on it and aggravation? They need to be taken off the face of the earth, and I don't think that's a liberal position."
Behar also dismissed the New York Post's speculation, printed Monday, that CNN executives are viewing her as a potential replacement for when Larry King's contract expires in 18 months.
"He's not retiring," she said of her friend, for whom she has guest-hosted several times. "The guy's never gonna retire. And also I have this show so why concentrate on that? But it's nice to be mentioned. That's great company to be in."
The article also mentioned Katie Couric, Ryan Seacrest, and John King as potential King replacements.
Behar is settling in with her female-heavy HLN family, saying she had "a lot of fun" at a photoshoot recently with Nancy Grace, whose strong lead-in she will hope to take advantage of at 9PM.
"She's just a regular girl," Behar said of Grace. "I like her a lot. And Jane Velez-Mitchell is really a lot of fun. We get along just fabulous."
"CNN Headline News" re-branded to HLN in December 2008. "The Joy Behar" show rounds out its opinionated evening lineup, which includes "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" and "Nancy Grace," in addition to "Showbiz Tonight."