‘The Talk’ has officially replaced Sharon Osbourne — with Jerry O’Connell.
During Wednesday’s episode of the hit daytime talk show, longtime panellist Sheryl Underwood welcomed the actor as the CBS programme’s first male co-host.
O’Connell’s appointment comes months after Osbourne exited the series following an internal investigation sparked by a controversial and intense on-air exchange involving Osbourne and Underwood.
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” the network said in a statement at the time.
“As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behaviour toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”
After frequently filling in as a guest host, ‘Sliders’ star O’Connell will join Underwood, Elaine Welteroth and Amanda Kloots as a permanent commentator on the CBS production.
“First of all, I want to say you ladies have been so welcoming to me,” O’Connell said during Wednesday’s announcement.
“I came here as a guest months ago, and 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. We really are.”
In March, CBS dismissed Osbourne after she insisted on camera that she wasn’t “a racist” for defending her longtime friend and colleague Piers Morgan, who similarly departed his British morning show after making disparaging comments about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Osbourne then challenged Underwood, demanding her co-host educate her on the racist implications of Morgan’s disapproving remarks about the duchess, who had recently spoken out about racism she said she experienced after joining the royal family.
Upon Osbourne’s departure, CBS took some responsibility for the way the situation unfolded and vowed “to enhance the producing staff and producing procedures to better serve the hosts, the production and, ultimately, our viewers.”