The two women were in final negotiations to join the show, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. While characterizing the report as premature, an executive close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing wouldn't deny they were the top candidates.
Goldberg, 51, would give "The View" creator Barbara Walters a big name to replace Rosie O'Donnell. In less than a year on the show, the brash O'Donnell was a never-ending source of headlines for her feuds with Donald Trump and co-star Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Despite the near-constant need for damage control, ratings shot up.
Goldberg is one of the few performers to earn Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Academy awards in her versatile career, and could be expected to take the moderator role filled by O'Donnell.
Shepherd, 40, has been a guest host on "The View" more than a dozen times, five times this month alone — an indication that producers were considering her seriously.
The busy actress appears in the upcoming film "Who's Your Caddy." Her resume includes roles on "Pauly Shore Is Dead" and "The Jamie Foxx Show," and she even played God once on the CBS show "Joan of Arcadia."
With Hasselbeck and Joy Behar, the cast changes would give the show a full complement of regulars for the first time since last summer, when Star Jones Reynolds left amid acrimony. Walters appears on the show occasionally.
The changes would also give the show some ethnic diversity. "The View" has been without a regular black cast member since Reynolds left, and both Goldberg and Shepherd are black.