Rosie O'Donnell in "Serious Talks" to Rejoin The View Seven Years After Her Contentious Exit
Everything's coming up Rosie! With the recent cast shake-up at The View, speculation is rampant about who will fill Jenny McCarthy's and Sherri Shepherd's soon-to-be vacant chairs at the table. (Barbara Walters also left this year, but of her own volition; she retired in May.) One frontrunner at the moment, a source confirms to Us Weekly, is former co-host Rosie O'Donnell, who left the show amid controversy some seven years ago.
The talk show vet, 52, is "in serious talks" to rejoin the ABC series in a leading role, the insider tells Us. "Rosie is very close to signing. They aren't seriously auditioning anyone else until the deal is done, because Rosie will get a major say [in her co-hosts]," the source says. (TMZ first reported news of O'Donnell's negotiations.)
O'Donnell served as moderator on The View from 2006 to 2007, at which point she broke her contract and made an early exit. During her tenure on the show, she publicly feuded with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, culminating in a heated on-air exchange (complete with a split screen!) in May 2007. The fight got ugly—and personal—with O'Donnell calling Hasselbeck "cowardly." She left the show immediately afterward.
"I didn't want to argue for a living," the comedian later told Oprah Winfrey of why she quit. "It was not my show, and I didn't have the control that I was used to. And the executive producer and I did not gel."
O'Donnell steered clear of The View for seven years, but in February 2014, show creator Walters asked her back as a guest. (At that point, Hasselbeck had already left for her new gig on Fox & Friends.)
"I have great affection for Rosie and we have remained in contact through the years," Walters said of O'Donnell's much-hyped appearance. "I am happy to welcome her back to the program. She is always a lively and engaging guest and a part of the show's successful history."