She's Ba-ack! Rosie O'Donnell Officially Returning to 'The View'
Everything's coming up Rosie! In the aftermath of the bloodbath announced departures of Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd from The View, Rosie O'Donnell has officially signed on to return to one of the empty seats.
It's official! ABC confirms Rosie O'Donnell returns as co-host of #TheView w/ moderator Whoopi Goldberg for Season 18 pic.twitter.com/oRCAcxAZE5
— The View (@theviewtv) July 10, 2014
At first glance, this choice might seem surprising, since O'Donnell famously left the show in 2007 after only one season following an angry split-screen confrontation with then co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck over the Iraq War.
Rosie also frequently went head-to-head with Hasselbeck over other issues, and even sparred with Donald Trump. In fact, when O'Donnell was granted an early exit from her contract, it seemed she was on the outs with almost all the gals at the table, including show creator Barbara Walters.
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But the choice to bring Rosie back into the mix might actually be a brilliant strategic move. Though she was inarguably opinionated and rubbed plenty of people the wrong way, she also brought in ratings. Even Walters admitted Rosie's tenure was one of the "most exciting and successful years" at the show — and the show could certainly use a boost now.
It's been nearly a year since conservative powerhouse Elisabeth Hasselbeck and liberal wit Joy Behar exited, and The View has clearly struggled to replicate that opposites-attract chemistry ever since. Though there were high hopes when former Playmate-turned-mommy warrior Jenny McCarthy joined the gang earlier this year, the bubbly blonde failed to provide a ratings boost to the show's 17th season.
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In other words, the network is feeling the pressure to shake things up and revitalize the franchise… which is probably why Rosie got the call. It also likely helped that she and Barbara seem to have buried the hatchet.
Rosie not only guest hosted in February (at Barbara's request, we might add), but also helped send off the icon in style when Walters exited the show in May. O'Donnell's peaceful return no doubt helped pave the way for her formal reinstatement.
[Related: Joy Behar Blasts Elisabeth Hasselbeck's 'Hate-Filled Remark' About Rosie O'Donnell]
But before you start thinking Rosie's going to hold her tongue this time around, when she was asked what she missed most about the show during the Walters tribute, she didn't miss a beat.
"Fighting with the skinny one," she quipped (referring to Hasselbeck, of course).
Our bet is the network misses that, too, which is why we're fairly certain we'll soon see someone whose politics slant decidedly to the right sitting up there with Rosie. Sarah Palin appeared on a short list of possible contenders, but seems unlikely to make the final cut.
We'll have to wait and see who else gets tapped to join the daytime chatfest, but there's one thing we can count on: Rosie is ba-ack!
The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on ABC.