In case you haven't heard, Julie Chen has left CBS daytime show The Talk after serving as host/moderator for eight seasons. Her departure comes on the heels of her husband Les Moonves's ousting as CEO of CBS after six women came forward with sexual harassment allegations.
"I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago and the cast, crew, and staff have become family over the years," Chen said in a pre-taped video message to viewers. "Right now I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son. So I have decided to leave The Talk. I want to thank everyone at the show for the wonderful years together. I will always, always cherish the memories we shared."
Losing Chen is a tough blow for the show, considering she was the only co-host with a hard news background. To say her replacement has big shoes to fill would be an understatement.
Word on the street is CBS already has its eyes on Rosie O'Donnell as a replacement, which makes sense for the studio if it wants to pull in ratings (and headlines). After all, O'Donnell has extensive experience hosting. She ran her own show from 1996 to 2002, and co-hosted The View from 2006 and 2007 and, years later, from 2014 to 2015.
But since The Talk is focused on women's issues, relationships, and pop culture, adding O'Donnell into the mix could result in the show getting too political. The actress has a history of spewing her strong (to put it lightly) opinions.
1. Carrie Ann Inaba
Chen has already given Inaba her stamp of approval — in her departure video, no less. "Carrie Ann, I don't know, but in my opinion, you look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. Just saying," she said.
Inaba has served as guest co-host of The Talk before, and her bubbly personality ensured she got along with the rest of the hosts.
In an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show, Chen said she is open to joining The Talk. "When she made that video announcement, I was shocked," Inaba shared. "I was shocked that she even mentioned my name. So of course, who wouldn’t want to take an opportunity like that?"
2. Ann Curry
If The Talk is looking for someone who is "moderator material," Curry certainly fits the bill.
The former Today anchor has the skills and she'd be a perfect co-host on the show. She's an excellent interviewer, has extensive knowledge on a variety of topics, and knows how to get along with other panelists. Plus, she's widely beloved by daytime viewers, so pulling in ratings shouldn't be much of a problem.
3. Maria Menounos
Menounos had to step away from the spotlight last year after she discovered she had a benign brain tumor. She left her gig at E! News to take things slow and focus on her personal life. But should she decide to jump back on the hosting horse, The Talk would be the perfect show for the seasoned personality. She's charming, friendly, and engaging, not to mention she's interviewed hundreds of celebrities.
4. Lisa Ling
Ling is no stranger to panels as she co-hosted The View from 1999 to 2002. Currently, she's fronting her own CNN docu-series, This is Life with Lisa Ling, in which she tackles hard-hitting topics like drug abuse and sugaring. While it's unlikely she'd choose to go back to daytime television, her colorful journalism resume could be a real asset for The Talk.
5. Chrissy Teigen
The Internet's BFF could also be a fun addition to the show. As evidenced on her Twitter feed, she's not afraid to speak her mind and has a lot to contribute on women's issues, including motherhood and reproductive rights. Not to mention the fact that she's full of sass.
What's not to love?
Who do you think should replace Julie Chen on The Talk? Comment below!