Sara Gilbert has experienced major turmoil on the sets of both TV shows that she works on over the past several months. The Talk and The Conners star has weathered both the firing of Roseanne Barr from her ABC sitcom and the sudden exit of Julie Chen from her CBS talk show.
During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Barr’s ex-husband Tom Arnold even quipped, “Sara Gilbert is a jinx on every show she’s on this year, let me tell you that!”
Arnold was joking, but Gilbert is dead serious when she says she wants to keep things positive and not rehash the past. In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Gilbert effectively dodged questions about Barr’s firing, saying she doesn’t “think it’s super productive for me to go back into that.”
When it comes to Chen, the longtime moderator of the Emmy-winning daytime chatfest The Talk, Gilbert was as blindsided as anyone when the CBS host announced she was leaving the show amid her husband Les Moonves’ sexual misconduct investigation.
Gilbert revealed that, just like everyone else, she found out about Chen’s decision to leave the show “sometime in the last couple weeks.”
“She sent us a message on the show that was really sweet, and then we texted a little bit…I think everybody was surprised. It all happened quickly.”
Gilbert defended The Talk’s honest talk about Moonves (co-star Sharon Osbourne flat out said her former boss and Chen’s husband ” has a problem”), but when the line of questioning turned to rumors of past friction on The Talk set due to Chen’s status as the CBS CEO’s wife, the sitcom star drew the line.
“I don’t know. I’d rather just keep this focused on The Conners and positive stuff.”
As for a replacement for Chen, Gilbert said there is no big rush to fill her shoes at the head of The Talk table.
“It’s a show about five friends, so you want to make sure that you’re excited to talk to each other. It comes down to chemistry, and it’s not something that we’re going to rush.”
After she quit The Talk, Julie Chen finished out her hosting job on the CBS reality show Big Brother, which wrapped Sept. 26. But other than that, the longtime CBS star has been rarely been in public.
Before Moonves’ exit from the network, his longtime friend Kopelson reportedly remained staunchly supportive of him, even after the first wave of sexual misconduct allegations were made against the CBS chairman. The late CBS exec reportedly said of Moonves, “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”
The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.