‘American Ninja Warrior’s Akbar Gbajabiamila Joins ‘The Talk’ for Season 12

Akbar Gbajabiamila
Elizabeth Morris/NBC

American Ninja Warrior‘s Akbar Gbajabiamila is joining CBS’s daytime series The Talk for its upcoming 12th season.

Slated to kick off on Monday, September 13, on the network, The Talk will unite Gbajabiamila with fellow cohosts Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, and Jerry O’Connell. He’ll step into the spot left behind by former cast member Elaine Welteroth.

The Talk Season 12 Akbar Gbajabiamila

(Credit: CBS)

“It’s a new day in daytime for Season 12 of The Talk, and we are thrilled to welcome Akbar to the family. His engaging personality, openness, and quick wit really impressed us when he appeared as a guest co-host last season,” said Heather Gray, executive producer, and showrunner of The Talk.

Gbajabiamila appeared in several episodes of the show over the course of June and July as a guest cohost, making him a perfect fit for the upcoming season.

“It is an absolute honor to be joining The Talk as a host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a long-standing establishment,” said Gbajabiamila in a statement regarding the announcement. “To be a part of this diverse group is truly a dream and a new statement for The Talk. In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self every day and advocating for conversation over confrontation.”

Along with appearing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior and American Ninja Warrior Junior, Gbajabiamila is an accomplished author, former NFL linebacker, husband, and father among other things.

“Akbar’s candor and humor come with ease and are great additions to the conversation. Also, his relatability as a husband and father creates a special connection with the viewers that is invaluable,” added Kristin Matthews, executive producer, and showrunner.

Don’t miss his arrival when The Talk returns on CBS, and let us know what you think about his casting in the comments section, below.

The Talk, Season 12 Premiere, Monday, September 13, 2/1c,  CBS