Roberts returns to “GMA” on Feb. 20. That date is exactly five months to the day Roberts took a leave of absence from the show in order to undergo a blood marrow transplant for myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood disease.
Stephanopoulous directly addressed Roberts during the announcement:
"Robin, I know you are watching right now. But you really have to stay turned for this, because a lot of people are very, very happy for you.”
“GMA” then showed a video segment filled with warm "welcome back" greetings from celebrity well wishers. Among those shown: cast members from “Modern Family,” Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jimmy Kimmel, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, Jennifer Lopez and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The announcement also showed Roberts in action during her “Gratitude” tour, in which she thanked family, friends and supporters during her leave of absence from “GMA.”
"I cannot wait to return to my ‘GMA’ family," Roberts told ABC News in a separate interview. "It's going to be an incredible morning in Times Square. The overwhelming thoughts and prayers of the viewers have played a major part in getting me here today. I cannot thank everyone enough."
"GMA" weather anchor Sam Champion noted Roberts will be back on the show on an “abbreviated schedule” as she eases back into the show in respond to doctors’ concerns. In January, Roberts began doing dry runs at the studio in preparation for her return.
“Good Morning America” will offer a countdown to Roberts’ return over the next two weeks. In the two weeks leading up to her return, the show will feature stories about Roberts’ illness, recovery and her work in rejoining the show as well as human-interest stories about the impact her journey has had on others.