Rosie O’Donnell ‘Was Interested’ in Joining ‘The Talk’ After Julie Chen’s Exit, ‘Ladies Who Punch’ Author Reveals

Rosie O’Donnell and Julie Chen Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Talking it out. After Julie Chen announced her exit from The Talk, Rosie O’Donnell considered taking her place, according to Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View author Ramin Setoodeh.

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“[Rosie] and I were talking on Twitter and I DMed her right when Julie Chen left, and she said she was interested in the seat,” Setoodeh told Access on Tuesday, April 23. “She went out and tried it. She was open to moving to Los Angeles at the time. She’s now said that she doesn’t want to move, but she was interested in doing the show.”

Ultimately, O’Donnell, 57, decided not to take the job because of the salary that came along with it. (She was once considered to be one of the highest-paid TV stars when she cohosted The View.)

“I think money was an issue,” Setoodeh said. “Rosie O’Donnell isn’t cheap.”

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Chen, 49, served as the moderator on The Talk since its premiere in October 2010, but she decided to leave the CBS show in September 2018 to “spend more time at home with my husband [Les Moonves] and our young son [Charlie, 9].” Her pre-taped video announcement came nearly two months after Moonves, 69, stepped down as the chairman and CEO of CBS over sexual misconduct allegations, which he denied.

The former Early Show coanchor defended her husband in the wake of his scandal, tweeting in July 2018 that he “is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader.” She later started referring to herself as “Julie Chen Moonves” on Big Brother after 20 seasons of only using her last name. (She still hosts the reality competition and its celebrity edition.)

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O’Donnell appeared as a guest host on The Talk after Chen’s departure, but Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba ultimately ended up taking the full-time seat.

The former Rosie O’Donnell Show host was a cohost on The View from 2006 to 2017 and 2014 to 2015.

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