NEW YORK — After weeks of fan and media speculation, could “The View” be ready to announce a replacement for Rosie O'Donnell?
Rosie's empty seat as co-host could be getting filled by none other than Whoopi Goldberg, reports the National Enquirer.
“As far as everyone at ABC is concerned, (Whoopi) has the job,” a network insider reportedly said.
According to the report, “The View” will utilize guest hosts throughout the summer, with Whoopi taking permanent residence as co-host in the fall.
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“Nothing has been officially announced,” says the insider. “But it is 99 percent Whoopi at this point.”
“Access Hollywood” received word from Whoopi's office this morning, refuting the Enquirer's report.
“This is not accurate,” said a rep. “No deal has been made, no deal has even been offered. And Whoopi still has a nationally syndicated daily morning FM radio show.”
The National Enquirer is not the only one to report on Whoopi's potential “View” gig. Following Rosie's announcement back in May that she'd be leaving the show, TV Guide posted a report which said that Whoopi was at the top of the wish list to fill one of the two empty seats on the talk show's couch (according to a source close to “The View”).
Whoopi, like Rosie, is known for voicing her opinions — often with a dose of comedy. The multi-faceted celebrity has won Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony Awards. Along with her work as an actress and comedian, Whoopi has hosted her radio show for the past year.
Whoopi has served as a recurring guest-host on “The View” in the past, and has reportedly garnered praise from “View” hosts Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Rosie herself.
In a May 31st posting on her official Website, Rosie wrote “love whoopi” in response to a fan's question about her opinion on a replacement host.
Rosie has also showed support for another comedian (and mutual friend of hers and Whoopi's) who has filled in as guest-host frequently: Kathy Griffin.
Rosie said on her video blog last Friday, “If (Kathy) wants that job, she should take it, because she's great — and she would be an addition to that show.”
The “My Life on the D-List“ star told “Access” back in May that she would take the job if asked, saying that she "loves those girls" and that it would be “a blast.”
In a poll conducted in April on AccessHollywood.com, viewers tabbed Griffin and comedian Monique (31 percent each) as their favorites to replace Rosie. Kathie Lee Gifford earned 25 percent of the vote, while Mario Cantone finished fourth with 14 percent of the vote.
Whether it's Whoopi, or Kathy, or someone else entirely, the world will have to wait a bit longer for an official announcement. A rep for “The View” released a statement to “Access” today, saying “no offer has been made to any potential candidate.”
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