Julie Chen was ready for The Talk to take home an Emmy—and it only took six years. After six seasons on the air, the CBS chatfest took home its first-ever Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, knocking the long-reigning Ellen DeGeneres Show out of the winner’s circle. Still, Julie Chen told Variety the cast of her show was shocked when they heard they won the award.
“I don’t know if it was something that happened this season that made it a standout, but we’ve been on for six seasons now and it was our time,” Julie said. “In daytime TV, viewing habits shift and it takes a while to become a household name and I think we have accomplished that.”
While Julie Chen and her co-hosts, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, Sara Gilbert, and Sheryl Underwood, were happy to finally win an Emmy, they told People the secret to their on-air chemistry is the fact that there is respect on the set.
“It’s like Barbershop, but it’s women,” Chen said. “When you go to the beauty shop or the nail salon or you’re with your friends, you’re talking about whatever gossip has made the headlines, the news that morning. Whether it’s Donald Trump or Michael [Strahan] and Kelly [Ripa] or Bill Cosby. We’re discussing it, we’re bringing it to you, we discuss it, and then we put our own kind of spin on it, and we contribute our own tales from the dark side.”
Julie Chen’s co-host, Sheryl Underwood, said the women of The Talk “keep it real” and don’t talk over one another.
“Even when we disagree, we let each other finish our thoughts,” Underwood said. “We’re not angry. Nobody’s hostile, nobody storms off.”
Indeed, in today’s morning TV landscape, The Talk is about as drama-free as it comes. Julie Chen’s reference to Live With Michael and Kelly stars Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan—whose strained relationship is apparent in the aftermath of Strahan’s behind-the-scenes move to Good Morning America—is interesting. Julie has also been very vocal about her show’s biggest competition, The View, a show that is known for its ever-changing, and sometimes catty, casts.
In fact, Julie Chen has given her two cents about The View on multiple occasions. In an interview last year on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show, Chen said she advised View creator Barbara Walters to stay away from the show because it’s a sinking ship.
“[Barbara was] toying with the idea of whether or not she should go back and save [The View],” Chen said. “The whole room said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Everyone told her, ‘Barbara, that ship has sailed. No one can turn it around. Stay away; it will only hurt your image.’ “
Julie Chen previously said she didn’t think The View knew how to utilize its talent. In an interview with Extra, Julie slammed the rival show’s use of former co-host Jenny McCarthy in Hot Topics segments about politics.
“With Jenny, it seems like they don’t know what to do with her talent,” Julie Chen said in 2013. “The show has lost its way is my feeling because they don’t really talk about politics anymore and when they do, no one is really trying to hear what Jenny is saying. I don’t think she’s suited for what they used to do.”
While The Talk has found a winning combination with its current cast, the show didn’t always have a crew with chemistry. The first season of The Talk featured Leah Remini and Holly Robinson-Peete instead of Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood. Although it was never addressed on-air, Remini and Robinson-Peete were reportedly fired from the show, and there was some definite bad blood in their wake. It looks like The Talk finally found the right combination of personalities as The View continues to sink.
After The Talk’s Emmy win, Julie Chen and her girls took to social media to post their reaction.
Take a look at the video below to see Julie Chen and The Talk cast announcing the Daytime Emmy nominations—including their own.
[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]