In a surprising turn of events, the popular talk show “The Talk” has announced the postponement of its season premiere, originally slated for today, September 18. This unexpected delay comes in the wake of Drew Barrymore’s controversial decision to pause her own talk show amid intense criticism during the ongoing writers’ strike.
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A spokesperson for CBS, the network that airs “The Talk,” issued a statement confirming the postponement, stating, “‘The Talk’ is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date.” This decision reflects the growing impact of the writers’ strike on the entertainment industry.
Drew Barrymore, the celebrated actress and host of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” had faced swift backlash from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) over the past week for her decision to proceed with her talk show during the strike. However, today, Barrymore made a public announcement on her Instagram account, indicating her intention to halt her show’s return. She expressed deep remorse, saying, “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over.”
Barrymore went on to offer heartfelt apologies to those she may have inadvertently hurt and praised her show’s dedicated team for their contributions. The decision to postpone her show came after several days of relentless criticism, including the deletion of a previously posted apology video.
CBS Media Ventures, the distributor of Barrymore’s show, stood by her decision, issuing a statement of support. A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures stated, “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.”
Drew Barrymore’s initial decision to continue her show during the writers’ strike had set her apart as the sole talk show host to take such a stance. This move had made her the focus of intense scrutiny and backlash. She initially addressed the issue via social media and later posted an apology video, only to remove it shortly afterward. It appears that the mounting pressure and criticism ultimately led to her reversal of course.
Remarkably, Barrymore’s decision to halt her show’s return has triggered a ripple effect within the talk show industry. “The Talk” is not the only show to postpone its return; “The Jennifer Hudson Show” has also delayed the premiere of its second season and paused production. Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd’s “Sherri,” which is not covered by the WGA strike, is still scheduled to return. Kelly Clarkson’s talk show, which recently relocated from Los Angeles to New York City, has not announced a premiere date as of yet.
It’s worth noting that talk shows operate under the SAG-AFTRA Network Code, allowing talk show hosts to continue in their hosting roles without violating union rules. Unlike shows in national syndication, “The Talk” and “The Drew Barrymore Show” do not have contractual obligations to local station partners. Both shows are network productions, with “The Talk” on CBS and “The Drew Barrymore Show” on its distributor’s network.
“The Talk,” featuring co-hosts Jerry O’Connell, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, and Sheryl Underwood, employs a single writing position on its staff. The show had previously halted production in May, shortly after the onset of the writers’ strike. Notably, last week, as part of their preparations for the season premiere, “The Talk” filmed a rehearsal show, which was met with picketing by striking writers.
Variety has reached out to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for comment on the decisions made by “The Talk” and “The Drew Barrymore Show” to postpone their return dates. However, as of the time of this report, no response from the WGA has been received.
The future of these talk shows and their return dates remains uncertain as the writers’ strike continues to affect the television industry, leaving fans and industry insiders eagerly awaiting further developments.