THE Talk “will not replace Sharon Osbourne anytime soon,” as producers focus on “addressing her sudden exit” to viewers in the first show back from the month-long hiatus.
CBS announced Sharon, 68, quit The Talk after her on-air fight with co-host Sheryl Underwood earlier this month, as she received backlash for “racially insensitive” comments while she defended her friend Piers Morgan’s harsh criticism of Meghan Markle.
The Sun can exclusively reveal The Talk currently has no plans to find a new host to join Sheryl, Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth.
A source told The Sun: "The show will return to air without a fifth host."
“Mrs. O is irreplaceable. She is a unique, outspoken talent that doesn't exist anywhere else. There is no obvious heir apparent to take her seat right now.”
The source added that the show is also facing “issues of ratings and budget.”
As of right now, The Talk is focusing on how to address the beloved cast member’s departure.
The source continued: “The staff has to plan a first show back that addresses the incident in a way that satisfies viewers and sets the course for what the show is going forward without Mrs. O.
“This is the biggest challenge the show has ever faced and unfortunately we are not operating on the best cylinders.”
The drama started when Sharon addressed her decision to stand by her longtime friend Piers on the March 10 episode.
Sharon told her co-hosts on the show: “Why is it that because I supported a longtime friend and work colleague for years, people go ‘well you must be racist because he’s racist.’
“No. I support his freedom of speech. I’m not racist and neither is Piers racist. What have I ever said about anybody that’s racist? It’s not within me. It’s not in my soul.”
Sheryl disagreed with Sharon’s comments, as she claimed Piers showed “racial implications with the way he spoke about Meghan” the last time he appeared on their talk show.
Sheryl continued to explain: “It’s not the exact words of racism it’s the implication and the reaction to it. To not want to address that because she is a Black woman and to try to dismiss it, that’s what makes it racist.
“But right now I’m talking to a woman that is my friend and I don’t want anybody here to watch this and say we’re attacking you for being racist.”
An emotional Sharon then rolled her eyes before saying: “I think it’s too late. I think that seed’s already sewn.”
A source told The Sun following the argument that both sides “refused to apologize,” though Sharon did issue an apology on her Instagram page following the argument.
After finishing up the week, the show went on a hiatus as the network conducted an "internal review.”
The Sun previously reported Sharon was “not expected to return” despite executives and staff being “divided” over her future on the show.
On Friday, CBS announced Sharon had quit the show, as part of the statement read: “Sharon Osbourne has decided to leave The Talk. The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home.
“As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.”
A source told The Sun following her departure that Sharon “remains livid” and “lost trust in the network.”
Sharon was “utterly bewildered by the way" CBS bosses made it "look like she was racist,” the source said.
Before Sharon quit, she told Daily Mail: "They'd set me up. The producers never told me.
"If they'd said to me, listen, the execs here aren't happy with what's gone on with you and Piers – we've got to try and sort this situation out, the girls are going to ask you these questions, blah, blah. Bring me in on it. Don't blindside me.
"If they'd said these execs aren't happy, I'd have worked on it with them. But give me a chance. Don't bloody surprise attack me on national TV live for 20 minutes when it was meant to be four other segments.”
The Sun previously reported there are cancellation fears, as ratings have been low since host Marie Osmond left the show last year.
A source claimed: “Cancellation has to be on the minds of execs because this show is a bigger headache than it's worth dealing with. Ratings are still in the toilet and now the racism scandal makes it even less appealing to viewers.
"Many have vowed not to watch without Sharon on the show. Without Sharon there is no star power.”
Viewers have also vowed to boycott the show after Sharon’s departure.
One fan wrote: “I have boycotted the show due to the unfair treatment of Sharon Osbourne! So much for free speech in America!”
A second said: “I will miss Sharon Osbourne on The Talk. It was obvious that she truly loved and respected the other co-hosts.
“Sad that she and Sheryl will never have the same wonderful relationship that they once had. I wish her the best and I feel that she will be missed by many.”
A third commented: “No longer watching without Sharon Osbourne being on the show!!!! So wrong to let her leave the show!!!!!”
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