updated 09/10/2007 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/10/2007 AT 11:30 AM ET
As long expected, Sherri Shepherd has been added to The View – in what Barbara Walters called “the worst-kept secret” on television.
Wearing a bright red dress and accompanied by a recorded rendition of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Sherry,” Shepherd made her entrance and took the open seat at the table.
“I’m so excited,” she said as the studio audience rose to its collective feet. “Oh, my God. I’m actually one of the girls. I’m here. And it’s all good. I’m with all the ladies.”
Shepherd’s is already a familiar face to viewers of the ABC daytime talkfest. The Chicago-born actress-comedian, 40, served as a View guest host on more than a dozen occasions, including several times this summer as she tried out for a slot left vacant since the summer 2006 departure of Star Jones Reynolds.
Shepherd’s arrival, which places her alongside Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck for the show’s 11th season, comes six days after the debut of Whoopi Goldberg, 51, on the program.
Shepherd, who sometimes appeared as Brad Garret’s police partner on Everybody Loves Raymond, is also seen in the film Who’s Your Caddy? Her other credits include roles on Pauly Shore Is Dead and The Jamie Foxx Show.
In addition, she once played God on CBS’s Joan of Arcadia – which, as some TV columnists remarked, seemed a very good way to prepare for The View.