Jerry O'Connell Replaces Sharon Osbourne On The Talk As Permanent Co-Host

The actor joins the CBS daytime talk show as the first permanent male panelist after Osbourne’s controversial exit in March.

Jerry O’Connell is joining “The Talk” as a permanent co-host.

The actor replaces Sharon Osbourne, who left the show in March after a heated on-air discussion about racism with co-host Sheryl Underwood and an internal investigation by CBS.

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“It’s real exciting,” O’Connell said on Wednesday’s episode after the announcement. “First of all, I want to say, you ladies have been so welcoming to me. I mean, I came here as a guest months ago, and just from the moment I walked in, you’re just gracious, you’re kind, you’re fun, and it worked. And here we are. We’re going to have a lot of fun, we really are.”

O’Connell will be the first permanent male co-host on the CBS daytime talk show, joining Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welterot.

In a statement, executive producers Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews said, “We are beyond thrilled Jerry O’Connell is our new host. We loved his infectious enthusiasm, humor, openness and insights as a guest co-host and look forward to him now bringing those dynamic qualities to the show every day. As an accomplished actor, devoted husband and father, Jerry will bring a unique and entertaining perspective to the conversation.”

After the announcement was teased on Twitter, O’Connell appeared in a pre-taped “Rocky” bit before entering the stage on Wednesday’s show with bouquets for his new co-panelists.

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“Yay! Here he is, the newest member of ‘The Talk,’ Jerry O’Connell!” Underwood said to the audience amid thunderous applause.

Kloots added, “We have all loved getting to know you the last couple of months.”

The warm welcome follows the March 10 chilly interaction between Osbourne and Underwood, which began after Underwood questioned Osbourne over her defense of Piers Morgan after he attacked Meghan Markle following her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The exchange between Osbourne and Underwood blew up, as Underwood said some viewed Morgan’s attacks on Markle as racist, while Osbourne demanded proof and expressed concern about herself coming off as racist for defending Morgan.

A few days later, Osbourne claimed CBS “blindsided” her with the question about Morgan. In a statement, CBS said the internal investigation “did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.”

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