The news may have leaked last month, but now the ink is dry on Carrie Ann Inaba’s new contract. The Dancing with the Stars judge is officially moving over to CBS’ The Talk as a replacement host for Julie Chen.
Inaba made her debut as cohosts Eve, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, and Sheryl Underwood welcomed her warmly on Wednesday’s episode.
“Everyone’s Talking about it, and I’m excited to confirm it. We’re welcoming Carrie Ann Inaba to The Talk table,” Angelica McDaniel, CBS Entertainment’s executive vice president of daytime programs, said in a playful statement. “Carrie Ann connects with audiences by being genuine. We appreciate her warmth, heart and vulnerability, and love what she brings to the show.”
Inaba has been one of several guests filling in the vacant hosting seat left by Chen, who departed her post amid the sexual misconduct claims against her husband and former CBS CEO Leslie “Les” Moonves. Inaba will now formally fill the role full time beginning this month.
“Having the opportunity to sit at the table with Eve, Sara, Sharon, and Sheryl has been such an enriching experience, and I’m honored and looking forward to joining them daily,” Inaba said. “It’s the authentic conversations and connection with the audience and the ladies that really drew me to The Talk. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this show.”
Chen gave a nod to Inaba in a taped farewell message, released in September. “You look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. I’m just saying,” she said.
Inaba, who also comes with experience as a guest cohost on The View, Live with Kelly, and Access Hollywood Live, is set to maintain her judging duties on Dancing with the Stars.
Chen, meanwhile, will return to host Big Brother: Celebrity Edition, airing this Jan. 21 with multiple episodes a week until the two-hour finale on Feb. 13.