‘The Talk’: Jerry O’Connell & Akbar Gbajabiamila on How They’ve Become Better Hosts (VIDEO)

After a few years of comings and goings with its hosts, CBS‘ long-running daytime series The Talk finally locked one of its most solid and eclectic hosting panels last year, and that makes this Season 13 more exciting than ever. Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales as well as Talk‘s first male hosts, Jerry O’Connell and Akbar Gbajabiamila, are all back this season.

With a year under their belts, O’Connell and Gbajabiamila say they’ve learned a lot. “I learned to be a better listener, to be quite honest with you,” Gbajabiamila tells TV Insider. “Coming from [my other hosting job] American Ninja Warrior it’s just a tandem and [me and Matt Iseman] are usually bouncing off of each other.” O’Connell said a vital thing for him was that he with four co-hosts, he “learned to be quiet. He continues, “I don’t have to be so extra. I can just be quiet and that’s it.”

Both also had to adjust to those unexpected moments when conversations move in a new direction and they have to throw away any script. How did they master that spontaneity? Gbajabiamila credits O’Connell, saying, “I was always in awe that Jerry could just dump the questions and then draw from his experience. A lot of times, I would be afraid to do something like that. But sometimes you just go and I think him being an actor, they go with their instinct.” O’Connell graciously thanked his colleague before adding with a laugh, “Trust me, Akbar, I got in trouble every time I went off script on the show.”

New episodes kick off September 12 with a week-long outdoor carnival. Howie Mandel guests on Monday’s episode as well as surprises for the audience, which is filled with cancer fighters and survivors. Tuesday brings in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power star Ismael Cruz Córdova, and later in the week, Sarah Michelle Gellar pops up and Melody Thomas Scott talks about her upcoming crossover between The Young and the Restless and sister show The Bold and the Beautiful.

The Talk, Weekdays, CBS, check local listings for airtime in your area.