Sara Gilbert Reveals Why She Really Quit ‘The Talk’ But Stayed With ‘The Conners’

Bonnie OsborneCBS

Sara Gilbert’s busy schedule recently got busier. The actor and longtime CBS host recently launched Sara + Tom, a new production company with mentor Tom Werner, and signed on to a recurring role on the Netflix series Atypical. In addition, Gilbert stars on ABC’s The Conners and hosts the CBS chatfest, The Talk.

Gilbert, who will depart The Talk at the end of the current ninth season, told Variety that with her new production company, roles on two TV series, and a hectic home life that includes raising three kids, it was “too much” and “something had to give,” so she decided it was time to say goodbye to the Emmy-winning daytime talk show she created in 2010.

“I’ve been lucky enough to do the talk show for nine years. And so that felt like the right move is, ‘OK, I’ve done that. And I’ve fully explored it.’ And now it’s time to do other creative ventures.”

Gilbert – whose departure news came as a shock to fans just a few months after CBS veteran Julie Chen also left The Talk – also admitted she’s relieved she won’t have to talk about her personal life on TV anymore. The CBS star said that aspect of The Talk has always been “a stretch” for her because she has never been a very public person. Gilbert said while she put herself on The Talk to “push the boundaries” and grow, she is fine with letting that piece of it go now.

As for The Conners – the ABC spinoff Sara Gilbert spearheaded after the Roseanne reboot was abruptly canceled amid Roseanne Barr’s Twitter scandal last spring – Gilbert admitted that it was “definitely a risk” and that the entire cast struggled with the idea to come back sans Roseanne. Gilbert contends she felt like she wasn’t done telling stories about the working-class Conner family.

“It’s almost like the choice was made for us. We work so well together and have such great chemistry, so it just felt like a natural extension of what we were already doing.”

Season two of The Conners will pick up with Gilbert’s character Darlene dealing with the aftermath of telling her boyfriend Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) she doesn’t want to move to Chicago with him just as her ex-husband David (Johnny Galecki) asks for another chance for their relationship.

Gilbert also hinted at an episode loosely inspired by the classic Family Ties episode, “A, My Name is Alex.” In the Emmy-winning 1987 episode, Alex Keaton’s (Michael J. Fox) friend Greg is killed in a car accident and the eldest Keaton child’s survivor’s guilt — he was supposed to be in the car as well — leads him to reflect on his life in a unique way.

Gilbert noted that the tone of The Conners isn’t that far from the tone of Family Ties, especially with the death of matriarch Roseanne last season.

Sara Gilbert teased that it would be great to have some influence from her all-time favorite Family Ties episode, which broke form and turned into a play about Alex’s life.

“I’m going to be vague, but yeah,” Gilbert said of the future Conners episode. “You’ll get to see possibly like people’s inner life in a certain way.”

The Conners returns to ABC this fall.