What’s the Plan to Replace Aisha Tyler at ‘The Talk’? Here’s the Scoop from CBS
The search is on. Season 8 of The Talk kicks off September 11 without cohost Aisha Tyler, who split after six years to pursue a directing career. That means the remaining foursome—Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne—will be testing out a small group of possible replacements over the next few weeks.
“We have a great thing going when it comes to group chemistry, so the bar is set very high,” says CBS Daytime czarina Angelica McDaniel, noting that The Talk won an Emmy this year in the best host category. “The woman who fills that fifth chair must be willing to open up and be vulnerable, knowing that the other women are there to catch her if she falls. You can’t show up with pretense because our audience will see right through that.”
To whittle down the competition, McDaniel and the show’s executive producer, John Redmann, have been conducting behind-the-scenes chemistry tests with the wannabes—a mix of women who’ve already served as recurring guest hosts and some who are completely new to the show. “They’re all names we’re really excited about,” says McDaniel. “We put them with a studio audience and our four cohosts and hit them with a wide array of topics, as if they were actually doing the real show. We wanted to insure that each contender was able to put her best foot forward.”
And there’s no big rush. In fact, The Talk’s season premiere week will feature a lineup of male CBS stars as guest hosts, including Wayne Brady (Let’s Make a Deal), Wilmer Valderrama (NCIS), Eric Christian Olsen and Chris O’ Donnell (NCIS: Los Angeles), and Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T.)
“We plan on staying fluid until we find a replacement for Aisha,” says McDaniel. “We will take as long as it takes to get this right. You can’t put a deadline on magic.”