One of The View‘s original panelists just might be returning to the roost for the daytime talker’s milestone 25th season.
Responding to a Daily Mail piece in which a source claimed that Debbie Matenopoulos is being courted for a “triumphant return” to the ABC Daytime talker, a rep for the TV personality confirmed that “conversations” have taken place with ABC News brass about, among other things, a View encore.
“Debbie will always have a fond place in her heart for The View, the show that launched her career as a 21-year-old straight out of NYU,” Matenopoulos’ spokesperson said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. Matenopoulos’ team “has, in fact, been having conversations with senior executives at ABC News over the past few months about many things, including her participation in celebrating the 25th season of The View, and she appreciates all the interest in her returning.”
The View‘s other cohosts at the time of the series’ 1997 launch were queen bee Barbara Walters, journalist Meredith Vieira, lawyer Star Jones and comedian Joy Behar (who is of course part of the current panel).
Matenopoulos — whose run as co-host of Hallmark’s cancelled Home & Family ends with the lifestyle series’ finale on Aug. 4 — is now “in development on two food shows and her own lifestyle show,” the spokesperson noted, “but she’d never say never to returning to her first television home.”
Matenopoulos’ rumored return comes on the heels of her guest-hosting CBS rival The Talk, and in the wake of Meghan McCain announcing her departure from The View at the end of July.
“[T]his show is one of the hands down greatest, most exhilarating, wonderful privileges of my entire life,” McCain said during the July 1 episode. To her fellow panelists, she added, “It is a privilege to work alongside such strong, brilliant, intelligent, incredible broadcasters like the four of you. You are the most talented women on all of television, hands down, and it has been so incredible to do this with you.”