CBS’ “The Talk” announced a new co-host this week that prompted a mixed response from its viewers.
Comedian Sheryl Underwood, who has been with “The Talk” since 2011, announced Tuesday that Jerry O’Connell would be joining the daytime talk show as a full-time co-host, making him the first man to do so.
The “Jerry Maguire” and “Stand by Me” actor will replace Sharon Osbourne, who left the show in March following a heated on-air exchange with Underwood that drew accusations of racism.
O’Connell, 47, is slated to appear on the show for the remainder of this week, after which he’ll take a break to film a new movie. He will join the show full time for Season 12, which is set to debut later this year.
“You ladies have been so welcoming to me,” O’Connell said on Wednesday’s episode, shortly after Underwood made the announcement. “I came here as a guest months ago, and just from the moment I walked in … you’re just gracious, you’re kind, you’re fun … and it worked. And here we are. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Viewers, however, seemed divided on the news. Some, including Andy Cohen, praised the decision to add a male voice to the mix.
“This is interesting,” one person tweeted. “I think a male voice would be a different dynamic to the convo. I wonder if other daytime talk shows would consider this move.”
Others, however, were less pleased that Osbourne’s vacancy was being filled by a cisgender man.
Executive producers Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews said in a statement that O’Connell would bring “a unique and entertaining perspective” as co-host.
“We are beyond thrilled Jerry O’Connell is our new host,” the statement read, per Deadline. “We loved his infectious enthusiasm, humor, openness and insights as a guest co-host and look forward to him now bringing those dynamic qualities to the show every day.”
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