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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Slug Exclusive: Debbie Matenopoulos to Return to "The View"

071206view (AP Photo/HO/ABC)

Gasp! This might make Star Jones Reynolds very angry. Heck, it might make Barbara Walters very angry. Debbie Matenopoulos is returning to "The View" for the July 25 episode, an ABC spokesman exclusively told asap and The Slug. And it ain't even sweeps!

For one episode, the "young woman just starting out" — as Matenopoulos was originally dubbed when the talk show began in 1997 — will join Walters, Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who replaced Matenopoulos' replacement Lisa Ling in 1999 after Matenopoulos was fired.

In case you're all like "Debbie Matenwho?" right now, Matenopoulos — we just looove saying her last name — is the blonde in the photo up there. The 30-year-old Matenopoulos and Jones Reynolds have something in common: Their "View" contracts weren't renewed following personality clashes. Mama Walters (and "Saturday Night Live") made no bones about Matenopoulos' bubbleheaded moments.

Will Matenopoulos' return launch a catfight or has time healed all wounds? We'll be watching to find out. Of course, this is all just a prelude to Rosie O'Donnell permanently landing as a co-host on "The View" on Sept. 5.

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