The latest shakeup at ABC’s “The View” – both Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy are out – has fans speculating on who will fill the vacant seats on the show’s ever-changing panel. But the latest rumor is that a familiar face may make a return to the ABC daytime chat fest. On Monday, Fox 411 reported that ABC executives are in the process of bringing the 52-year-old- comedian back to the show she famously left back in 2007 after a highly publicized on-air argument with fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
A “well-placed insider” told Fox that network execs “really wanted Rosie back” and are “confident she has what it takes to add some controversy and drive the ratings up.”
Although she left "The View” seven years ago, O’Donnell has continued to be a part of the ABC family. She returned to “The View” as a guest last year, and also in May for the reunion of all of the co-hosts in honor of Barbara Walters’s retirement. This year the comedian also had a recurring role on the ABC Family series, “The Fosters,” playing the character Rita Hendricks.
As for “The View,” with the departure of Shepherd and McCarthy on the heels of founding member Barbara Walters’s retirement from the show, the panel will be all new, with the exception of longtime moderator Whoopi Goldberg.
In addition to the rumors about O’Donnell’s possible return, there’s talk that the long-running show could go in an entirely new direction with the addition of male co-hosts. The New York Times reported that the top male candidates – all previous “View” guest hosts -- are E! personality Ross Mathews, (his week of pre-taped episodes of the show are currently airing), football analyst Jesse Palmer, (an ABC alum, as he was a star of “The Bachelor”), and conservative talk show host Will Cain, whose previous appearance on the show created some buzz.
While ABC has already made a statement that “The View" will be moving in "an exciting new direction" next year, even Barbara Walters hinted that a man could someday sit on the panel. Earlier this year she told Extra,“‘The View’ is entering its 18th year… These women are wonderful, and I don't know, maybe, maybe we'll add a man… ah, what a thought. I think we'll try some different people, and I think it would be nice to add a man, stay tuned.”