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Walters to
add Shepherd to The View

Walters to
add Shepherd to The View

Actress Sherri Shepherd will be introduced next week as a new cast member on The View, giving the daytime chat show its first full cast since before Rosie O'Donnell came and went.

The show's creator, Barbara Walters, said Wednesday that she would reveal the new cast member on Monday. That will be Shepherd, said a person close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Shepherd is no stranger to The View. She was a guest host more than a dozen times, many of them this summer as she tried out for a cast slot left empty since Star Jones Reynolds left last summer.

She appeared in this summer's film Who's Your Caddy? Her lengthy resume includes roles on Pauly Shore Is Dead and The Jamie Foxx Show. She even played God once on the CBS show Joan of Arcadia, although it's doubtful her new colleagues will give her the same voice of authority.

Published reports had Walters set to appoint Shepherd in late July, around the time Whoopi Goldberg was selected as the show's new moderator. But the announcement was delayed, perhaps a sign that hardball negotiations were taking place.

Meanwhile, preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings found that 3.4 million people watched Goldberg's debut on Tuesday. That's 1 million shy of O'Donnell's audience for her first show last September. O'Donnell's stormy tenure on The View lasted less than a year.

Goldberg created headlines of her own her first day by defending NFL star Michael Vick in his dogfighting case. Goldberg said that where Vick came from in the South, dogfighting isn't unusual.

On her Wake Up With Whoopi radio show on New York's WKTU FM, Goldberg said Wednesday she wanted to make clear she didn't condone Vick's actions. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback admitted he provided money for a dogfighting ring that operated on his property and helped kill six to eight pit bulls.

''I do not think what Michael Vick was smart,'' she said. ''I am thrilled that the cops took care of it.' (AP)

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