Tamron Hall on Her Talk Show's Second Season, Turning 50 & More
Tamron Hall is back with her inspiring talk show Monday.
Tamron Hall returns for its second season, and the host aims to bring you more of what you enjoyed about the first and continue to feature "a good conversation" with each episode. "I don't want our show to be an agenda. I don't want a checklist," she tells TV Insider. "I want to talk to the people you're talking about and talk about the things you're talking about."
Here, Hall discusses going into the second season of hosting her talk show, celebrating her 50th birthday during premiere week, and her new crafts obsession.
You've said that you didn't really celebrate when your show was renewed, but what was your reaction to getting started on the second season, especially now when things are changing when it comes to producing anything?
Tamron Hall: I'm still processing it like everyone else. We're all inching forward, finding our way. I just watched a couple news stories about parents sending their kids back to school for the first time. We're all navigating in this space, in different ways, clearly, but the uncertainty remains. It's like The Twilight Zone. I left my studio the first week in March, went back in [last] week, it felt like I had never left, but at other moments, it felt like I hadn't been there in a year. I'm navigating it. I wish I had a clear way of describing my feelings, but what I'm trying to do is recognize and own that none of us know anything. All we can do, at least from my perspective, is get in there and try to show the people who watch our show each and every day that there's a way to move forward, even with a daytime talk show.
Has your approach to your show changed in any major ways given the pandemic?
No, one of the things that being in my basement did remind me of — and I'm a TV junkie, I can tell you the television lineup from when I was eight years old, I still sleep with the television on — the intimacy that can come from television. Everything is so bright and so big, especially in daytime television, but at the heart of what we do is we talk. We laugh together. We cry together. That's what came from this experience for me professionally, that you don't always need the grand scale to communicate, to be there, to have that conversation, that it can be sometimes stripped down. It's like life without an Instagram filter. Sometimes you just look good and you think you need the filter, but in fact, you just need to be yourself.
What went into putting together your lineup for premiere week? Was there any sort of balance you were looking for? Or was there one show you definitely wanted to include more than any of the others?
Absolutely not. Our show's a talk show. As I tell people, if you sat down at a dinner table with someone and they only talked about sports, you'd be bored. If they only talked about fashion, you'd say, "OK." But if it's a layered conversation about marriage, about sports, about life, about fashion, about raising a kid, all of that is what makes having a talk show so appealing to me and so fun and just so special, that every day, you get to have a conversation. I don't want our show to be an agenda. I don't want a checklist. I want to talk to the people you're talking about and talk about the things you're talking about. That's something that we've been consistent, and now in our second season, we'll just continue doing exactly that.
And having your birthday celebration during premiere week is a nice way to kick off the season.
I didn't plan it that way! Who knew I'd be born in the beginning of television season? How ironic is that? [Laughs] A daytime host born when TV shows usually launch? Yeah, I'll be 50. I can't believe it. I've been doing this since I was 18, in some form or the other, but we will be there for my birthday. My team has a lot of surprises for me. We're going to talk a lot about what it's like to be a 50-year-old woman in 2020 and all of the differences from when my mom was 50 and all of that. I'm excited about it. It just falls in line with my philosophy on life. I'm going to embrace my wrinkles. I'm going to embrace the 5-0 as I've embraced everything else in my life.
What have you learned about yourself as a host not just from the first season but also from everything you've done thus far for the second?
How much I truly love a good conversation. I've done news where you have a minute 20 to tell the story. I've done that rush of the breaking news. And for me, I like settling into a topic, even if it's something as simple as lately I'm obsessed with crafts. I was never a DIY person. When I tell you I spend hours on end looking at videos on YouTube of people creating and making things, it brings me joy. I like sinking into something and bringing the layered storytelling, and that's what we're doing and that's what I've learned I love and what I hope I do best.
A lot of people may be getting into crafts now that they've been home.
I just put two Adirondack chairs together from Etsy. It took me 400 years or so, but when I got done with it, it felt so good. We actually talk about that on the show. These are things that make us all relate to each other. I don't know if I'm going to go painting the house anytime soon, but those little accomplishments are so fun and it's great to be able to talk about those things and share those things on a show because people realize, "Wait a minute. I also end up watching TikTok videos on people making things." That's the joy of this kind of show, reminding people of how much we have in common and how clearly we can also talk about those things that we have different.
And people can be doing crafts while watching your show.
Oh my gosh, yes! And they should send me tips because my craft game is a struggle, but I love it.
Is there anything you're incorporating into the second season based on what you saw from the first or wanted to do but didn't get the chance to?
Again, more storytelling, more sinking into a topic. There was a lot of talk, "everyone's attention span is so short." I think we've learned after our first season that that's not the case, that, yes, when people want something in a hurry, they will seek it out, but we are learning with our voice that that sink-in, melt-into-your-seat conversation is appreciated and the audience rewards it by watching you. We are so fortune to have had that response, and we're going to grow that and double down on that.
Going into your second season, have those you look to for inspiration changed?
No, I think at my age people who inspire me are the same as the people who are resilient, who are able to get up in the middle of adversity. Melissa Etheridge is one of our first week guests [on September 18]. She lost her child in the most awful way, and we're going to sit down and talk to her because she has a powerful message that she wants to share with other parents who may believe they are alone.
We're able to dig into people who want to admit that they've made mistakes. Two of our big guests this week, Stassi Schroeder from Vanderpump Rules [on September 16], she believes she's a victim of the cancel culture after saying some pretty awful things, but what is her story of redemption? What does she want the public to really know about her? We also have Andrew Gillum [on Monday]. This man could've been the governor of Florida, the first Black governor of Florida. He lost the race by a sliver, and then within months, he has one of the biggest scandals of the year and he's ready to talk about it with his wife.
People are ready to open up, whether it's about something horrendous as his story or something as inspiring as any other guest. It's what we bring to the table, and it's what I look for.
Tamron Hall, Weekdays, check local listings