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After days of rumors, The View made it official at 11 a.m. Thursday, tweeting that Rosie O’Donnell would return as co-host for season 18 of the ABC daytime show.
The View‘s Twitter account posted the announcement below.
— The View (@theviewtv) July 10, 2014
Just a few minutes later, Whoopi Goldberg told viewers on Thursday’s episode of The View that she and the rest of the show’s cast and crew didn’t know who was coming in. O’Donnell, who was a panelist on The View for the 2007-08 season, left after just one year.
O’Donnell had a notably stormy tenure on the show, often fighting with conservative panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who suggested on Fox News on Wednesday that O’Donnell had been plotting her return to the show for “a very, very long time.”
After she left The View, O’Donnell said that she had experienced something like posttraumatic stress disorder, and [Barbara] Walters said she resented the way her former colleague dumped on the show.
O’Donnell later returned to The View for a guest appearance three months prior to the reunion show, ahead of which Walters said she has great affection for O’Donnell. She called O’Donnell a lively and engaging guest who is a part of the show’s history.
Hasselbeck also claimed that Walters’ farewell episode May 15 was effectively O’Donnell’s “hello show,” adding that O’Donnell produced the broadcast.
O’Donnell is the first new addition to the show’s panel for season 18, following news that current panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy would be leaving at the end of this season. Since Walters retired as a View co-host in May, Goldberg remains the only current co-host returning next season.
At the time of McCarthy’s and Shepherd’s departures, an ABC statement said, “The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively.”
Shepherd spent seven years on the ABC show’s panel, alongside original castmember Joy Behar and Hasselbeck, both of whom left last summer. Only one of those two seats was filled by McCarthy’s addition to the show last fall.
O’Donnell and The View failed to confirm rumors and reports earlier in the week that O’Donnell would be returning to the show, but O’Donnell weighed in on a few View issues on Twitter on Wednesday night.
Still, O’Donnell seemed more concerned with other matters when news of her return was officially announced, tweeting the photo below shortly after 11 a.m. ET.
nothing like florida – pure joy – pic.twitter.com/6hcBsDoEq1
— Rosie (@Rosie) July 10, 2014
Later in the day, she posted the below video of her and her daughter, Dakota, saying The View‘s sign-off phrase followed by a card that read, “join da view.”
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