PEOPLE got a sneak preview of the first official shots of the new cast of The View – minus one Rosie, and plus one Whoopi.
Print ads for the new season, featuring new moderator Whoopi Goldberg and a soon-to-depart-for-maternity-leave Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will start appearing later this week, and preparations are well underway for Whoopi’s big first day when the show’s 11th season kicks off live on ABC Sept. 4 at 11 a.m.
A source close to the show tells PEOPLE that Whoopi had her dressing room at the NYC studio painted a simple off-white. And all of her personal furniture for the dressing room just arrived Monday morning.
But given Rosie’s tumultuous exit last spring, the big question on everyone’s mind is how this group of ladies will get along. If their first official photo shoot is any indication, “They were laughing and joking around with each other,” says an ABC insider.
And Whoopi’s quick wit kept ’em all in stitches. During one group shot where all four ladies were linked arm-in-arm, side-by-side, someone watching the shoot yelled out “You all look great. Like Sex and the City, and Whoopi responded, ‘More like The Wizard of Oz,” says a source. The whole room broke out into laughter.
As for whether or not ABC is still looking to add a permanent fifth panelist, sources at ABC say yes, but there are no immediate plans to do so – and it could take a while to find the right person. In fact, no one even seems to be talking about it right now. “Right now, it’s all about Whoopi,” the ABC insider says.