Less than a week after the departure of Elisabeth Hasselbeck from the syndicated daytime talkfest The View comes confirmation that Jenny McCarthy will succeed her when the show returns for its 17th season Sept. 9.
"YUP, I'M DOING 'THE VIEW'!" McCarthy trumpeted on her blog Monday. "When word got out that Joy [Behar] was leaving 'The View,' I knew that the timing of my desire and her departure might be serendipitous for me."
"Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor," the show's original host and co-executive producer Barbara Walters said in a statement released by ABC Monday morning.
Added the veteran media personality, 86, who next summer plans to retire from appearing on the show: "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, 40, a former Playboy Playmate and talk host – of her own show, where she ignited her latest romance, with Donnie Wahlberg – said in her statement about joining Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd on the program: "I'm beyond thrilled … I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off."
McCarthy is no stranger to speaking out on controversial subjects, and has been a vocal opponent of certain childhood vaccines that she suggests may contribute to autism. Her son, Evan, 11, has autism.
The conservative-leaning Hasselbeck departed for FOX News, while, in other news involving cast regulars, the liberal-leaning Joy Behar is scheduled to exit next month.