“The Talk” is ringing in the new year with a new co-host.
“Dancing With the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who turns 51 this weekend, made her debut on the CBS daytime series Wednesday, off, who departed in September after her husband, Leslie Mooves, was ousted as CBS chief following sexual misconduct allegations.
“Having the opportunity to sit at the table with Eve, Sara (Gilbert), Sharon (Osbourne) and Sheryl (Underwood) has been such an enriching experience, and I’m honored and looking forward to joining them daily,” Inaba said in a statement obtained by USA Today.
After her introduction during Wednesday’s broadcast, fellow co-host Osbourne said: “The last few months have been really, really tough on all of us, but you have brought us together and we love you for that.”
— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) January 2, 2019
Inaba has experience behind “The Talk” desk, serving as a recurring guest co-host on the series the past two seasons. She will also continue her ballroom duties on “Dancing With the Stars,” where she has served as a judge the past 27 seasons, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s the authentic conversations and connection with the audience and the ladies that really drew me to “The Talk,’ ” she said. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this show.”
Inaba filled the hosting gig for nearly four months when Chen vacated her role.
Chen, who had been with the CBS series since its debut nine years ago, took “a few days off” to be with her family after Moonves was fired in September. She announced a week later via a pre-taped video on “The Talk” that she would not return.
In her farewell message, Chen thanked her former co-hosts and gave a shout-out to Inaba: “You look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. I’m just saying.”
Network officials apparently agreed. “Carrie Ann connects with audiences by being genuine. We appreciate her warmth, heart and vulnerability, and love what she brings to the show,” Angelica McDaniel, executive vice president of daytime programs for CBS Entertainment said in a statement.