— The View (@theviewtv) July 10, 2014
*“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.
Minutes later, Whoopi Goldberg was on the live broadcast, telling viewers that she and the rest of the show’s cast and crew didn’t know who else would join them.
O’Donnell had a notably stormy tenure on the show, often bickering 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.”
Hasselbeck claimed that Barbara 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 panelists for season 18, following news that current panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy would be leaving at the end of this season. Since Walters’ retirement as “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, who both left last summer. Only one of those two seats was filled by McCarthy’s addition to the show last fall.
“The View” also is moving studios, shifting to the now-vacant home of Katie Couric’s daytime talk show “Katie,” which stopped airing original episodes in June, in the ABC Broadcast Center on 47th Street in New York City.