Behold the dawn of a new era! Just days after Joy Behar’s final appearance as a co-host on “The View,” ABC released the first official photo of the show’s season 17 cast, which features Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Barbara Walters, and Behar’s replacement, Jenny McCarthy.
McCarthy, 40 — who most recently hosted VH1′s late-night chat fest The Jenny McCarthy Show — looks right at home at the table. She and her new colleagues Shepherd, 46, and Walters, 83, wear big smiles in the picture, while Goldberg, 57, sports a more serious expression.
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Us Weekly first revealed that McCarthy was being considered for Behar’s spot on The View in early July. Less than two weeks later, Walters confirmed the casting news on air, telling viewers of the ABC talk show that the popular blonde would be a permanent co-host starting in September.
“Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor,” Walters said of McCarthy, who has appeared on The View 17 times, including eight as a guest co-host. “She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter for The View.”
The 17th season of The View will indeed be an interesting one, as it follows the exits of both Behar and co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who is joining the Fox & Friends team this fall. Hasselbeck said a tearful goodbye back in July, while Behar bid adieu to the show on Aug. 9.
“To my co-hosts who stay with me now and to all the girls that have sat here before, I’d love to say thank you,” she said in her farewell speech. “I was born in the only-child seat, but now I know what sibling rivalry is all about.”
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McCarthy will soon get a taste of that friendly rivalry herself. “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining Barbara and the other amazing women at the table,” she gushed. “I’d like to thank ABC for this great opportunity. I’d also like to give a big thank you to VH1 for their support and for allowing me to fulfill this lifelong dream. I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off.”