She’s back! As recently revealed, tart-tongued comedian Rosie O’Donnell is returning to The View, the hit daytime gabfest that she dominated in 2006 and 2007. She’s the first confirmed new cast member since the retirement of the show’s creator, Barbara Walters, and the recent shake-up that sent Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd packing, leaving Whoopi Goldberg as the lone returning panelist.
Rosie’s heated verbal jousts with conservative copanelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck made for some great TV moments, but insiders are surprised at her return, considering a recent well-publicized appearance was a bust. “Everyone has been asking why they wanted her back so badly since her March show was so low-rated, but ABC’s top brass have been courting her since then,” an insider tells Star.
On set there are also concerns that Rosie may not be able to bring the intensity that made her previous stint on the show so compelling. “In March she seemed medicated on antidepressants and was very mellow,” the source explains. “There’s a theory that ABC think this idea will either sink or swim, and if it sinks, they can officially have The Chew or the new Tyra Banks-led ensemble take its place.”
As the search continues for two new on-air panelists, there has also been upheaval behind the scenes. Tow of the show’s producers and it’s most respected director have been fired because, as the source says, “Rosie hated them!”
If you’re wondering how Rosie could wield so much power over Barbara’s beloved baby, “Barbara sold her stake in the show back to ABC last year and has zero involvement now,” the insider claims. And although a rep for Barbara denies it, the source adds: “She’s been taking meetings all around New York City, looking for a new job, telling people that ABC forced her out!”
Pick up this week’s issue of Star, on newsstands now, to see who could possibly join Rosie and Whoopi next season!