Debbie Matenopoulos Back to ‘Insider’ for Series on Talk Show Legends Martha Stewart, Kathie Lee Gifford (Exclusive)

“The Queens of Talk” will profile pioneering women like Sally Jessy Raphael, Leeza Gibbons and Lisa Ling for sweeps

Last Updated: April 22, 2015 @ 11:42 AM

Debbie Matenopoulos is returning to “The Insider” for an interview series with pioneering women of talk shows.

A former panelist for “The View,” Matenopoulos joins the entertainment program as a special correspondent for upcoming sit-downs with format legends Sally Jesse Raphael, Kathie Lee Gifford, Rolanda Watts and Leeza Gibbons.

Beginning Apr. 24, the series will also feature current “View” host Nicolle Wallace and formers Lisa Ling, Joy Behar and Jenny McCarthy.

“This is like coming home; everyone at the show is so much fun. And the fact that we’re doing this amazing series on these pioneering women in daytime TV!” Matenopoulos told TheWrap. “I’ve had the opportunity to interview a lot of my mentors. They’re people I look up to, these trailblazers.”

“We are incredibly excited about Debbie’s special return to ‘The Insider,'” said executive producer Monique Chenault. “She always approaches every assignment with enthusiasm and painstaking preparation. Now, as a new mom and best-selling author, she comes back with a wealth of new experiences that will add even more perspective and dimension to her storytelling.”

“The Insider” isn’t kidding about pioneers. Raphael’s “Sally” ran for two decades (predating “Oprah”) and is widely hailed as the dawn of audience-participation daytime fare. Gifford was the undisputed queen of daytime with Regis Philbin at her side from 1985-2000. Watts was a household name in the 1990s, along with Gibbons, who earned a staggering 27 Daytime Emmy Award nominations for “Leeza.”

The segments will air during the all-important May sweeps period. Read the full schedule of interviews with air dates below:

April 24: Martha Stewart

April 28: Joy Behar

April 29: Nicole Wallace

May 1: Lisa Ling

May 5: Leeza Gibbons

May 6: Sally Jesse Raphael

May 7: Kathie Lee Gifford

May 8: Rolanda Watts

TBD: Jenny McCarthy

Matenopoulos spent a year as special correspondent on the syndicated show in 2011. An inaugural member of “The View” from 1997-1999, she’s also worked as a host on E! and the TV Guide Channel. Author of the cookbook “It’s All Greek To Me,” Matenopoulos welcomed daughter Alexandra in October 2014 with photographer husband Jon Falcone.

“The Insider” is produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Check local listings.