A few weeks back, rumors swirled that Sharon Osbourne would be leaving 'The Talk.' While Osbourne herself told us she was just taking a little break to spend time with her husband Ozzy, it looks like the same can't be said for two of her co-hosts.
According to Deadline and sources close to production, the talk show will be undergoing several changes next year. Contract options were renewed for series creator and co-host Sara Gilbert and her fellow 'Talk'-ers Julie Chen (who's married to CBS boss man Les Moonves) and Sharon Osbourne.
The options for Remini and Peete were not picked up, though there's no word yet on whether they'll remain with the show in a more limited capacity.
If this latest news is true, it'll mean that half of the show's original co-hosts have vacated their chairs or been let go. Marissa Jaret Winokur, the first of the original six co-hosts to jump ship, left the show in January. According to producers, that change was "a mutual decision based on time, not talent." We're wondering if that's the case here as well.
With very strong ratings, the 'View' knockoff averages over 2+ million viewers an episode, and they also just came off their strongest month since February. So why the changes now?
Realistically, with more daytime talk show competition on the way, being a steadily-performing hit just might not be good enough. (Note: While their numbers are strong for the genre, 'The Talk''s ratings are still significantly lower than their predecessor, 'As the World Turns.')
Also, with recognizable talent already announced for ABC's new daytime talk shows 'The Chew' and 'The Revolution' (both also replacing soap operas -- 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live,' respectively), this could just be a play to upgrade hosts.
Then again, the departing hosts might not be replaced at all. To cut costs, the show could survive with the three remaining co-hosts by bringing in a rotating group of guest co-hosts. 'The Talk' has already experimented with having someone new sit in, with Kelly Osbourne keeping her mom's seat warm this season while she pulled double-duty for 'America's Got Talent.'
We'll update this story as we know more ...
What do you think? Will you miss Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete? And who would you like to see replace them?