Rosie O'Donnell is expected to make a surprise return to daytime television by taking over exiting Meredith Vieira's slot on the talk show "The View."

O'Donnell's appointment was reported Thursday by the newsmagazine "Extra." It was confirmed by a person close to the show who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because "The View" wanted to make the announcement on Friday's show.

ABC officials declined comment on the report on Thursday.

Dubbed "The Queen of Nice" when her syndicated talk show went on the air in 1996 and became an instant hit, O'Donnell won six Daytime Emmy Awards in six years as best talk-show host. She left the show to help raise four children with her partner, Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell.

It's an important appointment for "The View," which was created by Barbara Walters. Vieira's news background helped make her the solid center of the program on the days Walters didn't appear on air.

But Vieira joined the game of musical anchor chairs that began when Katie Couric chose to move to the "CBS Evening News." NBC quickly named Vieira as her replacement on the "Today" show, where she will begin work in September.

Joy Behar and Star Jones Reynolds, who have been bickering at each other lately, are also members of "The View" round-table, along with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. They're nominated together in the best talk-show host category at Friday's Daytime Emmy Awards.

"I think every agent in America is calling," Walters told The Associated Press shortly after Vieira's departure was announced on April 6.

O'Donnell has acted in a variety of movie, TV and stage shows, including the films "A League of Their Own" and "Sleepless in Seattle," and "Grease" on Broadway.

She should have no problem holding her own with the other ladies on "The View." Since leaving daytime television, O'Donnell has become a strong advocate of gay and lesbian marriage and adoption. With her partner, she operates a cruise line for gay and lesbian families that was recently featured in an HBO movie.