NEW YORK - Don't think because the women of "The View" tend to talk over each other during their "hot topics" segment that no one is listening.
"Sometimes we get so excited when we're talking ... but we do have a respect for each other," insists co-host Sherri Shepherd backstage after a taping recently. "We do want to listen to each other's opinions and thoughts."
Of course, there's a limit to that. During this season, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off the set during a debate with conservative Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly over a mosque proposed for two blocks from Ground Zero in New York.
"You can't do this show every day and not have a respect for each other," says Elisabeth Hasselbeck, often the lone conservative voice, of fellow hosts Shepherd, Goldberg, Behar and Barbara Walters.
"There is no way you can do the topics we do every day and it gets as heated as it does, and come back every day to do it again ... without a mutual respect there. It can't be done any other way," she says.
Approaching its 15th season next month, "The View" is a well-oiled machine in ABC's daytime lineup (11 a.m. EDT weekdays). And the off-the-cuff "hot topics" segment, in which the hosts engage in news of the day, is often the most provocative and headline-making portion of the entire hour.
The exchanges can get heated, but Hasselbeck says it also keeps each of the women on her toes. She says Walters, a TV journalist with more than 40 years on the air, sets a standard that the other women want to reflect.
"I have my best professional days when Barbara is here," Hasselbeck says. "She comes to the table well-informed. She does her research. She doesn't fly off the handle. She has information to back up what she says.
"That makes me want to be better at this. We all come in prepared when Barbara is at the table."
Other highlights for the week of Aug. 14-20 (check local listings):
"Could We Survive An Alien Invasion?" (8 p.m., Discovery Channel). Of course, we could. Martians are small and skinny and green -- and not known for their fisticuffs. "Avatar" actress Michelle Rodriguez hosts.
"Gloria: In Her Own Words" (9 p.m., HBO). The work of feminist icon Gloria Steinem is chronicled in this documentary, featuring archive footage, interviews and her worldwide legacy.
"The Lying Game" (9 p.m., ABC Family). Opening this new drama series, identical twins, separated at birth, work to find their birth parents.
"Most Eligible: Dallas" (10 p.m., Bravo). Good-looking single men and women in Texas bring their oversized drama to this new reality series.
"America's Got Talent" (9 p.m., NBC). The judges look over 12 previously ejected acts to see which one they want to bring back to the show during a "wild card" round.
"Downsized" (9 p.m., WE). A second season begins on this reality show that follows a family through the recession and resulting lifestyle changes.
"Law & Order: UK" (9 p.m., BBC America). The British version of the long-running "Law & Order" series is back for another season of crime-busting adventures, Queen Elizabeth style.
"Beyond Scared Straight" (10 p.m., A&E). A second season of this reality series looks at how "behind bars" programs can deter at-risk teens from going down the wrong path.