The Talk will remain silent for at least another week.
After going dark on Monday and Tuesday, CBS’ panel series is extending its brief hiatus from live shows until Tuesday, March 23, as the network continues a review stemming from March 10’s heated debate between Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood. Initially planning to return to live episodes on Wednesday, March 17, the show will stay dark as Osbourne’s defense of Piers Morgan and comments on racism — particularly her confrontation with Underwood, her Black colleague — go under the microscope internally.
A CBS spokesperson sent The Hollywood Reporter the following comment about the extended hiatus Tuesday: “CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace across all of our productions. We’re also very mindful of the important concerns expressed and discussions taking place regarding events on The Talk. This includes a process where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary. The show will extend its production hiatus until next Tuesday as we continue to review these issues.”
Fallout for Osbourne (and the show) was swift following the longtime panelist’s teary defense of friend and fellow Brit, Morgan, who stormed off the set of (and ultimately quit) ITV’s Good Morning Britain — which he’d co-hosted since 2015 — after his vitriolic criticism of Meghan Markle was read by most as racist. At one point in her defense of Morgan, Osbourne went on the offense and demanded that Underwood tell her what Morgan had done wrong. “Educate me, tell me when you have heard him say racist things,” Osbourne said. “I very much feel like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend, who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist?”
Since then, scrutiny has only increased. Original castmember Holly Robinson Peete tweeted that Osbourne had made racist comments about her before her firing, a fact Osbourne disputed in her own Twitter post. On Tuesday, more damningly, journalist Yashar Ali posted a Substack detailing more claims of Osbourne’s racist language on the set of The Talk — including comments from original panelist Leah Remini.
Osbourne is the only original castmember of The Talk to make it to the current 11th season. Peete and Remini both left after the first season. Series creator Sara Gilbert departed at the end of the ninth season, and Julie Chen left during the eighth — as husband and former CBS boss Les Moonves saw his career implode amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Osbourne’s new publicist, Howard Bragman, issued the following statement Tuesday: “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host. For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the U.K. and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment. She will survive this, as she always has, and her heart will remain open and good because she refuses to let others take her down. She thanks her family, friends and fans for standing by her and knowing her true nature.”
Update: As CBS continues to investigate the events surrounding the episode in question, The Talk’s hiatus will last at least another week.