Sara Haines is making her way back to The View, returning to Season 24 of the ABC daytime talk show in September as a co-host to fill the seat at the table left by Abby Huntsman, Variety reported Friday. Haines returns to the Hot Topics table after two previous seasons on The View from the fall of 2016 through the summer of 2018. Before that, Haines had served as a lifestyle anchor for GMA Weekend.
While a representative at ABC declined to comment to Variety, Haines has been a shoo-in for the spot left by Huntsman in January 2020, filling in occasionally alongside co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin as they appear virtually from home due to the coronavirus.
During a March guest appearance in which she filled in for Hostin after her grandmother passed away, Haines made it clear she still had love for the show on which she previously appeared — and her co-stars felt the same way. "It's so nice to have you back," McCain told Haines at the time. "You're such a bright [ray of] sunshine on your show and on [The View], it's so nice to have you. ...Once a View host always a View host." Haines gushed back, "This place is such a magical place, I've always said that. When you walk in the door, the hugging train ... it's a special staff here," later joking, "I'm here forever, guys!"
The View fans had hoped Haines would be added to the permanent panel after the show she co-hosted with Keke Palmer and Michael Strahan, Strahan, Sara and Keke, was canceled by ABC in March to make room for GMA 3: What You Need to Know amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Haines first bid The View goodbye in a tearful exit in August 2018, saying during her final show, "It has been an honor, a privilege and an absolute dream to work here at this show." She added to her co-hosts, crew and audience, "From the many people you guys will never see behind the cameras, who have become life-long friends - they're not going anywhere — to the dear friends I have made at this table, who are absolutely TV gold, and you guys are strong, empowered, opinionated women. ...For anyone who has ever played a sport knows that the best team members are the ones who life you up and make you better. You guys did that for me. I love this View, and I love all of you, so thank you so much."