Several months after taking a leave of absence from “The Talk,” panelist Carrie Ann Inaba is finally putting rumors to rest: she will not be returning to the talk show when it returns for season 12 in September.
“I enjoyed my time at ‘The Talk’ as co-host and moderator and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to grow with the entire ‘Talk’ family as well as truly connect with viewers on such a personal level,” Inaba said in a statement released to Deadline. “I will miss ‘The Talk,’ but I am excited for the next chapter both for myself and for the show.”’
In late April, Inaba announced that she had “decided to take a leave of absence from ‘The Talk’ to focus on my health and well being. I appreciate the support from you and my family at ‘The Talk’ and hope to be back soon!”
Earlier this week, Page Six reported that just before the show’s return to originals after the Sharon Osbourne debacle, Inaba was reportedly not too thrilled about having to take part in discussions of “race” and “healing” considering she wasn’t part of the episode that led to the show’s lengthy hiatus from originals and the eventual ouster of Osbourne.
“Carrie Ann’s authenticity and openness created a special connection and relationship with our audience,” Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews, executive producers of ‘The Talk,’ said in a joint statement issued to Deadline. “We will always be grateful for her contributions here at The Talk over the last 3 seasons. Her warmth, wisdom and vulnerability are just a few of her many admirable traits that will be missed. We wish her much success and good health going forward.”
Page Six reports that the show had 50/50 odds of Inaba returning to the show and has begun searching for a new co-host to replace her, most likely a second male co-host to join Jerry O’Connell.
Inaba has already confirmed that she will be returning to “Dancing with the Stars” next month when it launches its 30th season on ABC.