*CBS is set to announce that conservative comic Sheryl Underwood and Kardashian mom Kris Jenner will serve as co-hosts of the CBS daytime show “The Talk,” reports Deadline.com.
Underwood, a former staple on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Jamie Foxx channel for Sirius XM satellite radio, is now a weekly contributor on radio’s Steve Harvey Morning Show. A former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Underwood likes to call herself “a sexually progressive God-fearing black Republican.”
This latest move by “Talk” producers follows months of apparent behind-the-scenes drama that culminated in the reported exit of co-hosts Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini. Their options were not renewed. [Holly talks about it below.]
Sharon Osbourne, who said she wanted to scale back her appearances on the show, will return this fall, but only for six non-consecutive weeks. Sara Gilbert, one of the creators of the show, and Les Moonves’ wife Julie Chen are still on board in front of the camera.
Chen, also the host of CBS’ “Big Brother,” is rumored to have been too overbearing behind the scenes, prompting tension between the ladies.
Below are just some of the “Chenbot” rumors that have surfaced since “The Talk” began:
From Zap2it.com (July 19, 2011): “Sara may be executive producer, but Julie is definitely the Queen B,” says one mole. “The reason [former executive producer] Susan Winston was fired following only two weeks on the job was because she changed something during a segment that made a guest uncomfortable,” says the insider. Allegedly, when Chen informed her husband, Les Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, of the incident he reportedly watched the segment in question and had Winston fired on the spot. Prior to that development, I reported last January that Barbara Bloom was relieved of her duties as Senior Vice-President of Daytime following alleged run-ins with Chen.
From New York Post’s Page Six (Aug 16, 2011): Julie Chen’s “queen bee attitude” is forcing the ladies of CBS’s “The Talk” to flee the daytime gab-fest after just one season. Sources say fed-up Leah Remini plans to quit on the heels of Sharon Osbourne’s bombshell that she’s taking a break. Co-host Holly Robinson Peete last week said she will not return for Season 2. The last straw for Osbourne and Remini was Chen’s order, passed down from her master-of- the-universe husband, CBS President Les Moonves, following their South of France break, that the women were not allowed to discuss the Casey Anthony case without her because she’s the only host with journalistic credentials. “[Julie] said, ‘My husband feels strongly that you should not be talking about news [without me], you are not news people,’ ” our source told us. “Sharon just said, ‘I don’t know about this.’ She’d had enough. ” Despite the friction, one program insider called Chen “the glue that holds the show together” and firmly placed the blame on Remini. “[Remini] was a disruptive force,” the source said. “She had a huge morale problem,” adding that Remini often brought her mother on set, who refused to follow studio rules. “Her mother never parked in her assigned space,” the insider said. “She was told not to park in the lot anymore. ” Two executive producers have abandoned the show since it began last fall. But co-host Sara Gilbert is slated to return. A CBS spokesperson told us, “ ‘The Talk’ just finished a strong first season . . . The producers are currently working on a creative game plan for Season 2, which launches on Sept. 6.” Osbourne’s rep said she was “not reachable.” Remini’s agent said, “I don’t believe anyone’s option has been picked up. Her mom does go to the show every day as does Sara’s mom and Holly’s mom.” He declined to comment about the parking-lot matter because Remini couldn’t be reached by deadline.