Pundits say O’Donnell is in the running to replace Julie Chen, who announced moments before the show’s new season began that she was taking time off from the program after husband CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves got shown the door over a second round of Ronan Farrow-penned sexual misconduct allegations. Chen last week announced on The Talk, via videotape, she was exiting the show entirely.
But Inaba has her fans too.
O’Donnell’s hire would make for dramatic headlines, get the most attention and produce the biggest first-day-on-job ratings, insiders note.
O’Donnell previously had two short but headline-filled runs as co-host for the The View. She originally joined that show in September 2006, replacing Meredith Vieria as the show’s air-traffic-controller.
In April 2007, ABC announced that O’Donnell would leave after one acrimonious, headline-grabbing season, saying the sides could not agree on terms of a contract extension.
Years later, when she and other since-departed panelists reappeared in Walters’ final few episode, O’Donnell so impressed ABC bigwigs they asked her to make a much-ballyhooed return to the show in fall 2014, which was greeted by a big ratings kick.
But, months later, in February, O’Donnell again said so long to The View. Program guest Kenan Thompson asked, “Why are you leaving?” rushing in where others appeared to fear to tread.
“I got a lot of stress, hon,” O’Donnell replied. “I got some home stuff going on, I got some kid stuff going on. I got to turn down the stress in some area.”
She explained at greater length via YouTube:
So, understandably, some sources question whether O’Donnell really would want to return to the grind after her two short-lived, and not necessarily happy, rounds as one of the panelists on the rival show.
Think again, O’Donnell responded in a tweet thread today in which she plugged her upcoming appearance. One of her fans tweeted that O’Donnell replacing Chen — or, rather Chen Moonves — was “not likely since The Talk is taped in LA and don’t think Ro would move away from the E. Coast during the season #TooBadThough”, to which Rosie responded coyly, “perhaps I would”:
Between Friday’s two guests hosts, Inaba has got Chen’s vote to take her place.
In saying so-long to the show via videotape, Chen attempted to put her thumb on the scale, telling Inaba, who was guesting hosting that day too: “In my opinion, you look awfully good sitting there, my Asian sister. I’m just saying!”