As it prepares to close out a volatile 11th season that began with the departures of Marie Osmond and Eve, the controversial exit of Sharon Osbourne, and the medical leave of absence of Carrie Ann Inaba, CBS’ “The Talk” is looking for a new beginning when its 12th season launches in September. Reportedly, one big change will be the addition of the show’s first regular male co-host to the panel.
According to TheWrap, Jerry O’Connell, a veteran guest host in the field of daytime talk, is in active discussions with the network to take over the position vacated by Osbourne in March after the former “America’s Got Talent” judge got into it with her now former co-hosts over Osbourne’s support of her friend Piers Morgan and criticism he received from comments he made about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey. Morgan was accused of being a racist and subsequently quit the highly-rated British morning show “Good Morning Britain.” In defending him on “The Talk,” Osbourne got into a heated exchange with Sheryl Underwood stemming from social media claims that Osbourne herself was racist for her support of Morgan, among other accusations that were later highlighted by former “Talk” co-hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete.
Since May, “The Talk” has been featuring celebrity male guest co-hosts, including O’Connell and Justin Baldoni (“Jane the Virgin,” “The Bold and the Beautiful”), among several others. Ratings have been up slightly ever since, albeit the show’s overall audience remains low.
A frequent guest co-host on such daytime talkers as “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and others, O’Connell was given his own talk show, titled “Jerry O’ Show” in 2019 during a period when talk show Queen Wendy Williams was unavailable to host her own talk show due to personal/medical issues. It was canceled due to low ratings.
Should a deal with O’Connell be met, he’ll be joining Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Elaine Welteroth, along with a returning Inaba, to the CBS Studio Center in Studio City in a season that’ll mark the show’s first without a single original co-host returning. Additionally, it’s understood that a good majority of talk shows, including “The Talk,” will be resuming with in-studio audiences in the fall.
CBS declined to comment on TheWrap’s report, but sources tell the pub that talks have been ongoing since at least May.
It was recently reported that competing “The View” is working out a deal of some sort that includes the return of Debbie Matenopoulos for the show’s landmark 25th season following the recent departure announcement of Meghan McCain. Matenopoulos was an original co-host on the ABC talker during the show’s first season.