CBS daytime show aims to be 'The Talk' of the town

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - July 28, 2010

But Leah Remini, among the six co-hosts, said she has no plans to make her religion, Scientology, part of the show.

"Not at all," Remini told a session of the Television Critics Association, adding, "I love to make people laugh, entertain them. That other thing is something that is not even part of my discussion."

Gilbert spoke up for Remini.

"It's also really dangerous to look at people through one lens. ... Leah is a brilliantly funny, real, dynamic person with a lot of parts to her," said Gilbert, the former "Roseanne" co-star.

Asked about whether "The Talk" would echo ABC's "The View," another daytime talk show with female hosts, Gilbert said that shows can have the same format but differ in nature, citing the David Letterman-Jay Leno late-night programs.

Gilbert, who said she developed the idea to create a meeting ground for women and mothers, has two children with her partner, Allison Adler. The actress was asked why a news release announcing the CBS show listed the partners of the other co-hosts, all straight, but not hers.

Gilbert replied that the decision was hers and that a network press release wasn't the first place she wanted to launch a discussion of her personal life. As an actress, it hasn't been necessary to discuss her sexuality and it doesn't dominate her perspective, she said.

"I don't think of things as `out' or `in,"' she said. "I just think I am who I am. I'll share it when it seems right."

Julie Chen, who is giving up her "Early Show" co-anchor job to join "The Talk," said the focus will be determined in part by the level of media emphasis on "Sara Gilbert is a lesbian."

Chen, who will remain a contributor to "Early Show" and host of CBS' "Big Brother," said the show will be a discussion of motherhood and more. All the hosts, including Sharon Osbourne and actresses Holly Robinson Peete and Marissa Jaret Winokur, are parents.

"This show should feel like you're watching six women talking about what everybody's talking about," whether it's Mel Gibson or the Arizona immigration law, Chen said. "But we don't have an edit button."

Chen, wife of CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and mother of a 10-month-old son, hesitated when the group was asked to identify something annoying about their partners.

"I have to pick this very carefully," she said, joking that the wrong answer could get the show canceled before it even airs.

In an earlier session, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was asked about cynics who might question the hiring of the CEO's wife in another network show.

Tassler replied that it was Gilbert's idea to approach Chen about the daytime show. "The Talk" was one of several pilots under consideration by CBS to replace "As the World Turns" when the soap opera concludes its 54-year run in September.

"Julie has a terrific reputation," Tassler said, adding, "I made the decision. I don't think Leslie's unhappy with the decision."

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