'The Talk' Without Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete: The Fallout

Viewers continue to react emotionally weeks after the hosts were replaced, but CBS hasn't experienced a dip in viewership.
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On Tuesday, it will officially be three weeks since The Talk premiered its Season 2 without original hosts, Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete. Yet, every day like clockwork readers flock to the internet looking for answers behind the women’s absence from the show. Emails and messages from viewers expressing surprise and anger over Remini and Peete’s recasting continue to flow in almost daily.

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Many viewers have told us they won’t be watching the show any longer, some have launched a petition to bring the women back and several Facebook pages have been created for the same purpose. Yet, CBS reports that it hasn’t experienced any fallout when it comes to the show’s viewership.

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As compared to its highest ratings during May sweeps last year, The Talk did experience an expected dip in ratings. For the first two weeks of Season 2, the show averaged 1.95 million viewers compared to its ratings during Season 1’s May sweeps of 2.04 million viewers. But, we have to remember that these are the show’s highest ratings ever.

To really see the differences, we have to examine how the show performs with its target viewers. These numbers show nothing has changed since May. They match those demo numbers with a .9 rating for women ages 25-54, a .7 for women 18-49, and a .4 for women 18-34. The network also reports that the show has improved 40% in its time period on CBS-owned stations compared to last year’s viewership.

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In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, CBS Television Studios President David Stapf explained the reasoning for letting go of Remini and Peete.

"The changes we have made on the show are part and parcel of launching a new show and figuring out what works," Stapf says. "We were thrilled we got off to a good start in the first year but we felt we could improve the show and take it to the next level by recasting these two spots."

When Season 2 premiered on Sept. 6, new host, comedian Sheryl Underwood, and Sept. guest host, Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon joined the original hosts, Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen, and Sharon Osbourne. Kim Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, has been filling in for Osbourne for the past two weeks.

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So while it seems that there is a very vocal group of viewers who are angry about the removal of Remini and Peete, that hasn’t translated into a loss of viewers for the show. If it’s any consolation to those viewers, the show hasn’t experienced an increase in viewership either. Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro


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