Who Will Replace Julie Chen On ‘The Talk’? Fans Have Some Ideas

The wife of Les Moonves is set to exit her role as moderator on the long-running CBS talk show.

Andrew Eccles / CBS

The wife of Les Moonves is set to exit her role as moderator on the long-running CBS talk show.

Julie Chen has not appeared on The Talk since her husband, Les Moonves, stepped down from his role as CBS president and CEO last week. And now, insiders say she’s on a permanent vacation from the CBS chatfest that she has moderated since its inception in 2010.

Chen will reportedly exit The Talk for good amid the rampant sexual misconduct allegations against her husband of 14 years. The longtime CBS star, who has also served as host of the reality show Big Brother since 2000, has taped a message announcing her resignation from the Emmy-winning CBS talk show, according to sources for CNN. Late last week Chen reportedly decided “her main focus needs to be clearing her husband’s name from accusations made 25-30 years ago and tending to her son.”

With Julie Chen now out at The Talk, it leaves a very big hole at the CBS talk show table. Current co-hosts Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood, and Eve have taken turns at Chen’s news reading job, but it’s clear none of them can fill her shoes on a permanent basis. The Talk needs a newsreader, and Chen’s position as moderator on the show worked because her past career as a news reporter gave the CBS chatfest more credibility.

The Talk is known for its rotating lineup of guest co-hosts, but there are also regular returnees such as singer Carnie Wilson and Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who frequently guest on the CBS show. Fans of The Talk are weighing in on Julie Chen’s replacement, with some of them petitioning for Wilson, Inaba, or Fuller House star Jodie Sweetin to score a permanent role on the long-running talk show.

Others think Chen’s replacement should be a fellow newswoman, like former Today show anchor Ann Curry.

And other fans couldn’t help but nominate a few “joke” replacements for Chen, such as 96-year-old TV legend Betty White or comedian Kathy Griffin, who recently tweeted an “f— you” message to Chen and husband. Another fan suggested that Illeana Douglas, one of Moonves’ accusers, should step into Chen’s role on The Talk, presumably for some serious Me Too talk.

Julie Chen’s departure from The Talk comes after she helmed eight successful seasons on the Emmy-winning daytime talk show. Les Moonves’ resignation from CBS came on the eve of The Talk Season 9 premiere, so Chen’s run on the show will officially end with Season 8.

In happier times, Julie Chen talked to Parade about how her role as moderator on The Talk evolved over the years.

“I had to learn how to let my perspective be known because my background was news and I used to get paid to not give my opinion, because as a journalist you’re not supposed to color a story one way or the other,” Chen said in July. “I went through some growing pains; there was a learning curve there.

The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.