9:00am PT by Brian Porreca
Julie Chen Moonves Officially Returning to CBS as Host of 'Big Brother'
Julie Chen — who has declared herself as Julie Chen Moonves — is staying at CBS.
After much speculation, Chen Moonves will officially return to the network as host of season two of Celebrity Big Brother. CBS confirmed the move Tuesday as part of a press release announcing its midseason schedule, which included the premiere date for season two of Celebrity Big Brother (Jan. 21).
The spinoff of the longtime reality series with its twist being its famous cast will air multiple nights each week for three weeks up to the two-hour finale Wednesday Feb. 13.
All eyes have been on Chen Moonves and speculation about whether she would remain as the show's host after her husband and disgraced former CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves was ousted following multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Chen Moonves left her post at CBS' daytime vehicle The Talk following Moonves' exit. She announced her exit in a video message to viewers, her co-hosts and the people behind the scenes, saying: "I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast, crew and staff have become family to me over the years. But right now I need to spend more time at home, with my husband and our young son, so I've decided to leave The Talk."
When news of Chen Moonves' departure from The Talk first broke, CBS supported her decision to step away from the topical series. "For eight seasons, Julie Chen has co-hosted The Talk with incredible energy, grace and professionalism. Her talents played a big role in our successful launch of CBS' first network daytime talk show, and in the series growth into an Emmy Award-winning broadcast. All of us here have tremendous appreciation for the dedication and passion she brought to the show every day and for her generous role as an ambassador for CBS Daytime. We are grateful for her many other contributions, respect her decision and wish Julie all the best in everything she does."
After Ronan Farrow's July 27 New Yorker exposé detailed six separate allegations of sexual harassment against her husband, Chen Moonves supported the embattled CBS exec. "I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the mid-'90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand by him."
She continued to show support of Moonves on The Talk, saying: "Some of you may be aware of what's been going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. And I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever."
Chen Moonves has been hosting Big Brother since its season one premiere in 2000. She was first on board the network as a news anchor from 1999 to 2002. When her future as host and face of the reality series was in question she continued to garner support from viewers and the show's alumni.
As for the new cast of Celebrity Big Brother, all will be revealed at a later date. Its first season included former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman who made headlines after revealing details about her time in the White House, Ross Mathews, Metta World Peace, Brandi Glanville and the season's winner Marissa Jaret Winokur.