Good 'View' for Shepherd

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Sherri Shepherd, who has served as guest co-host on ABC's "The View" on multiple occasions, will have a permanent chair on the daytime talker starting next week, sources said.

Shepherd will join new co-host Whoopi Goldberg along with Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the strip.

An ABC spokesperson would say only that "an official announcement will come Monday on 'The View' as promised Wednesday by Barbara Walters."

Walters said Wednesday that a new co-host would join the show next week but didn't divulge who it would be.

It has been speculated for some time that Shepherd would become a permanent co-host on the show, which saw the departures of co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell, Star Jones Reynolds and Meredith Vieira over the past two seasons.

Shepherd, an actress whose credits include ABC's "Less Than Perfect" and Fox's "The Wedding Bells," also ventured into the talk arena before "The View," working on a talk show type of project with syndicator Disney-ABC Domestic Television in the fall (HR 10/12).

Meanwhile, Goldberg's debut on "The View" on Tuesday drew an average of 3.4 million total viewers, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen Media Research. That's the second-most-watched season premiere for the show — now in its 11th season — behind Rosie O'Donnell's debut last year, which drew 4.4 million. Season-to-date (Sept. 18-Aug. 26), "The View" is averaging 3.3 million total viewers.
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