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Sara Haines will be returning to “The View” in September as a co-host for Season 24 of the ABC daytime talk show, Variety has learned.

Haines, 42, is no stranger to the Hot Topics table. She served as a “View” co-host for two seasons — from the fall of 2016 through the summer of 2018 — where she offered her takes on the headlines of the day, pop culture and celebrities. Prior to “The View,” Haines had served as a lifestyle anchor for “GMA Weekend.”

A representative at ABC declined to comment.

Haines will fill the seat at the table left by Abby Huntsman, who exited the show in January 2020.

In the last few months, Haines has filled in occasionally on “The View,” which has had its co-hosts – Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin – engaging in virtual debates from home due to the coronavirus.

Election years have always led to surges in viewership for “The View.” The talk show’s ratings have been up overall under Donald Trump’s presidency, as viewers have been tuning in to make sense of the latest scandals coming out of the White House.

When Haines first arrived at “The View” in 2016, the show was struggling to forge a new identity following a revolving door of co-hosts and the retirement of creator Barbara Walters in 2014. Haines was appointed to the show as Ben Sherwood, the president of Disney/ABC Television Group at the time, had the idea to recruit more “GMA” talent — including Paula Faris — to “The View.”

Then, in 2016, Sherwood and ABC News executives mandated that Haines abandon “The View” for a third hour of “GMA,” called “GMA Day,” with Michael Strahan. The new offering – which was later rebranded as “Strahan, Sara and Keke” (with Keke Palmer) – flopped in the ratings and was canceled in March, leaving Haines without a TV home.

In its early days of “The View,” Walters thought her talk show could survive maybe one or two panel changes. But over its 23-year history, “The View” has had almost as many cast shake-ups as “SNL.” Haines is the third co-host to attempt a comeback.

In 2014, Rosie O’Donnell tried a second stint on “The View,” following a successful turn as moderator in 2006-07, which lasted for five months before she quit. And in 2015, Behar — who had been fired from “The View” in 2013 when daytime executives foolishly thought the show had become too political — returned, helping usher in a successful post-Walters era.

Source: New York Post

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