Barbara Walters isn’t wasting any time getting down to business during the last year before her retirement!
Facing two vacancies on her daytime talk show, “The View,” Walters announced Monday morning that frequent guest host Jenny McCarthy, 40, would be joining herself, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sherri Shepherd as a permanent host.
McCarthy’s first official day will be the start of the show’s 17th season, Monday, September 9. She has guest co-hosted “The View” eight times in the past, and has appeared on the gabfest a total of 17 times.
[Photos: TV’s Biggest Cast Feuds]
“We are delighted that Jenny will be joining us as a permanent co-host on ‘The View’ starting in September,” Walters said in a statement Monday. “Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. 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.'”
McCarthy added, “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining Barbara and the other amazing women at the table. 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.”
Last week, Elisabeth Hasselbeck confirmed she was leaving “The View” after nine seasons and joining Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” this fall. Rumors that Hasselbeck, 36, was on her way out had been swirling for many months.
[Photos: Check Out Pics From Hasselbeck’s Last Day on ‘The View’]
Although McCarthy backfills one empty spot on the hit show, one chair still remains open. Joy Behar, who along with Walters has been with the show since its first episode, also announced that she won’t be returning next season. There’s been no announcement on when — or if — the remaining permanent seat will be filled.
All of this comes with Walters’s departure looming heavy in the background. ABC will celebrate her retirement from both “The View” and ABC News in May 2014, which she announced back in early May.
McCarthy is no stranger to television. The former Playboy Playmate began her small screen career as the host of MTV’s ’90s dating show, “Singled Out.” She’s appeared in a number of scripted and non-scripted shows over the past two decades, including “Two and a Half Men,” “Just Shoot Me!,” and “The Drew Carey Show.” In 2012, she hosted the second season of NBC reality show “Love in the Wild,” and for the past two years she has appeared on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.”
See McCarthy on “The View”:
In 2013, McCarthy landed her own late-night weekly talk show on VH1, “The Jenny McCarthy Show,” which ran for 15 episodes from February until late May. There’s been no word yet on that show’s renewal or cancellation. In the late ’90s, she starred in the very quickly canceled NBC sitcom titled “Jenny.”
On the big screen, McCarthy’s career has mostly consisted of small parts and cameos, but her most significant movie role came in the form of 2005’s “Dirty Love,” which she produced, wrote, and starred in. The film became a minor camp classic, and she received the “Worst Actress” Razzie Award in 2006 for her role in it.
The funny lady has also been linked romantically to a number of leading men over the years, including a very high-profile relationship with Jim Carrey from 2005 to 2010. In 2012, she briefly dated NFL player Brian Urlacher, and very recently she’s reportedly been linked to New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg.
McCarthy has one son, Evan, 11, with ex-husband John Asher. Evan is autistic, which lead her to become a huge advocate for autism awareness. She’s been surrounded by some controversy over the years for her belief that some vaccines can cause autism.