Tamron Hall Reflects on Talk Show Success, Leaving 'Today' and Learning to Bet on Herself

The TV host opens up to The Hollywood Reporter about bringing her self-titled syndicated series back for a second season, while recalling how her 2017 exit from the 'Today' show prepped her for the most empowering chapter of her career so far.

When Tamron Hall received news that her eponymous talk show was renewed for a second season, she immediately thought to herself, "We're not in the end zone yet."

While Hall is certainly thrilled about her syndicated series getting a 2020-21 pickup, she explained in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio why she responded unceremoniously. "I grew up in a military family, so we're very keep-your-head-down, and I didn't celebrate," the TV host said. "It was more of, OK, let's get it, let's do better, let's do more. And that was really it."

Added Hall, "I got the call and I thought, 'OK, keep my head down, work harder, work smarter.' All of those things went through my head."

Now running through her mind are possible changes for Tamron Hall's sophomore iteration. "We want to get bigger and better and grow every day. Listen, if I think enough to change my hair, then of course I'm going to change the show," Hall said with a laugh. "It's evolving and it's becoming its own voice in daytime."

Following its September premiere, Tamron Hall hit or tied its season high in household ratings for nine consecutive weeks. Hall's distinctive mix of purely fun and deeply moving — from fashion segments and celebrity interviews to important discussions about heavy subjects such as gender equality, infertility and sex trafficking — has certainly helped her stand out from other daytime figures. 

"It was important for me to make sure that the show reflected what I felt and feel I can bring to the table because I didn't want to come back with a show that didn't make you proud," Hall said. "I wanted a show that would make my mom proud. Everybody who rooted for me, I wanted you to turn on the show and [make you proud]."

Many of Hall's fans and viewers (affectionately known as the "TamFam") first got to know her during her three-year tenure as a co-host on Today. The Texas native made history in 2014 when she became the first black woman to co-anchor the morning show since its 1952 debut. But Hall's groundbreaking third hour on Today was shelved in 2017, making room for Megyn Kelly's now-defunct show.

At the time, Hall worried about potential challenges — "I'm looking at the landscape and I'm thinking it's not forgiving as it relates to age, it's not as inclusive as it should be," she recalled — but she found the strength to forge ahead. "We've all experienced believing that it's our dream job or the dream relationship or the dream scenario that we figure, OK, this will work — and it doesn't," she said, noting however, "You've got to keep going."

Needless to say, Hall's perseverance paid off. And it was during her transition from displaced TV personality to empowered executive producer and host of her own show that Hall finally felt she could "bet on herself."

"I look in the mirror sometimes and see the seven-year-old who felt rejection, who felt insecure, who felt isolated. And, at 48, I realized that with all of those things against her, I'm still willing to bet on her," she said. "The only way you can be good at this is to finally accept that you are you. And I don't aspire to be anyone other than Tamron Hall from Luling, Texas, who maybe wasn't the kid that people bet on, but she found a way to bet on herself."

For more from Hall — including her "bonkers" interview with Oprah Winfrey and her efforts to champion inclusivity behind-the-scenes of her show — watch the video above.

Tamron Hall airs weekdays.