EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Ann Inaba won’t be returning to The Talk for CBS’ daytime talk show’s upcoming season. Inaba, who replaced Julie Chen as a permanent co-host in January 2019, had been on a leave of absence from the show since April.
“I enjoyed my time at The Talk as co-host and moderator and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to grow with the entire Talk family as well as truly connect with viewers on such a personal level,” Inaba said in a statement. “I will miss The Talk, but I am excited for the next chapter both for myself and for the show.”’
Inaba in April announced that she was taking a break from The Talk “to focus on my well-being,” adding that “health is the most important thing.” The announcement came a couple of weeks after the show found itself in a media firestorm over comments made on air by Sharon Osbourne that led to an investigation, a production hiatus and eventually Osbourne’s exit.
“Carrie Ann’s authenticity and openness created a special connection and relationship with our audience,” Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews, executive producers of The Talk, said in a joint statement. “We will always be grateful for her contributions here at The Talk over the last 3 seasons. Her warmth, wisdom and vulnerability are just a few of her many admirable traits that will be missed. We wish her much success and good health going forward.”
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Inaba’s formal exit, said to be a result of a mutual decision between her and the network, follows weeks of speculations about her future on the show. Earlier this week, a Page Six indicated that Inaba was likely not coming back and The Talk was looking into possibly replacing her with a male cohost. Last month, Jerry O’Connell joined the show as permanent co-host, replacing Osbourne. The talker has featured both male and female guest hosts filling in for Inaba.
The Talk, which is currently on its yearly summer hiatus, is slated to return with new episodes in September. It is unclear whether a permanent replacement for Inaba will be named before that.
A well liked TV personality, Inaba started guest hosting on The Talk in 2017. She filled in for Chen in the fall of 2018 and went on to replace her when Chen left the show.
Inaba, a veteran choreographer, had served as a judge on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars since its premiere in 2005. She first became known as one of the original Fly Girls on the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color from 1990 to 1992.
On the big screen, Inaba co-starred in Austin Power: Goldmember and Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me. She was also featured in American Virgin and Monster Mash, among her other credits.
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