Working from home: CBS takes 'The Talk' online

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Rachel Jones / TV Media
Sharon Osbourne from "The Talk"

Sharon Osbourne from "The Talk"

There's no shortage of issues to tackle for the Emmy-winning talk show "The Talk," and you can watch a new episode on Thursday, Aug. 27, on CBS. Whether it's current events, celebrity interviews or pop culture, everything's up for grabs for the witty ensemble of women who host the show -- these days, that includes Sharon Osbourne ("Austin Powers in Goldmember," 2002), Sheryl Underwood ("Bulworth," 1998), Eve ("Barbershop," 2002), Carrie Ann Inaba ("What's Up Orange County"), and the newest recruit, Marie Osmond ("Donny and Marie").

Created by actress and founding host Sara Gilbert (whom you may know as Darlene in "Roseanne" and "The Conners"), the show debuted in October 2010, and though it began with a central theme of motherhood, it soon evolved to include a plethora of other topics. It is often compared to ABC's "The View," and it consists of segments that run for a total of about 25 minutes, depending on how many guests and topics are included for the episode. The all-female panel discusses current news and issues with a focus on juicy or quirky stories. And they do it all in front of a live studio audience in California.

The 10th season of "The Talk" premiered Sept. 9, 2019, the first without Gilbert, whose place on the panel was filled by Osmond. Aside from the change in the host lineup, the set was also transformed with a more modern, cutting-edge design.

Early this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the show was supposed to go live without an audience, but it turned out even those measures wouldn't be enough. The show was shut down temporarily as CBS decided on a more aggressive response to the health emergency. As a way to keep the top-rated show running, it was rebranded as "The Talk@Home" and has been broadcasting the women's discussions via Zoom so each can participate from the comfort of their own homes.

While it's no longer broadcasting from the studio, the show's format remains unchanged: each episode features intense and diverse discussions on trending topics, and the guests join in virtually. The show is expected to continue broadcasting this way for the foreseeable future.

Pre-pandemic, "The Talk" enjoyed an international audience, including viewers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, New Zealand and more. Today, it can be viewed from practically any place on the planet with an internet connection.

The program is also designed to accommodate viewers' opinions through social media, specifically Twitter, using the hashtags #EverybodyTalks or #EVBT. By Season 5, "The Talk" began to allow video recordings and uploads with those hashtags and would feature one or two fan contributions during each episode.

In most installments of the show, the segment dubbed "Top Talker" features a detailed analysis of a trending topic by different contributors from the entertainment industry. Afterward, a celebrity guest is interviewed by the show's roundtable. From time to time, they also feature singers or bands on the set. There's also often a cooking segment with a guest chef, and every week they give away fashion or beauty products as well as electronics to each person in the audience. This season, the show's original wrap-up line "Remember, it's always the right time to have 'The Talk'" was replaced with the phrase "Let's talk tomorrow!"

Eve as seen in "The Talk"

Eve as seen in "The Talk"

In December 2009, CBS axed the soap opera "As the World Turns," which had been airing since 1955. When Gilbert learned about the network's plan to find something to fill that daytime programming slot, she jumped at the opportunity to present her proposal to CBS. She pitched a talk show run by six women who would tackle the country's most important headlines and stories from a mother's point of view.

The debut episode of "The Talk" went straight to the No. 1 spot in its time-slot in about 35% of its market. The show and its hosts have come a long, long way since then, earning 17 Emmy nominations. In 2016, all of the hosts of "The Talk" appeared in cameo roles in a "Supergirl" episode, and a year later, the panelists were featured in a "Jane the Virgin" episode, playing themselves.

The undeniable success of the show has given the team the freedom to stage a number of on-location editions, too. In its second season, the show broadcast live for a week on each of two trips to New York City, the first putting some of the audience in the studio and some outside. "The Talk" has since broadcast for a week from NYC twice per season.

Ten-time Emmy winner John Redmann ("The Tyra Banks Show") is the executive producer and showrunner, while other executive producers include Heather Gray ("The Tyra Banks Show"), Ed Horwitz ("I Get That A Lot") and Kristin Matthews.

For the latest round of conversations about engaging, informative and sometimes just plain fun topics, catch a new episode of "The Talk" when it airs Thursday, Aug. 27, on CBS.