May 27, 2024

The Talk” has pushed back its return, following Drew Barrymore’s decision to pause her talk show amid criticism during the writers strike.

“‘The Talk’ is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date,” a spokesperson for CBS tells Variety in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, Barrymore said that she would be pausing her talk show’s return. She had faced swift backlash from the WGA over the past week, as she had been standing by her decision to bring back her talk show.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”

“We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her,” a spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures told Variety in a statement, in support of Barrymore.

Barrymore was the only talk show host to release a public statement about bringing back her show during the strikes, making her an immediate target over the past week. She first posted a statement on her social media, and after days of facing criticism, she then posted an apology video, which she then deleted. The backlash has been intense, and Variety hears the pressure was just too much for her to ignore.

Barrymore’s decision to reverse course has now started a bit of a domino effect with “The Talk” following suit, but other talk shows are still returning on Monday: “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” which employs a few WGA writers, is planned to return. And so is Sherri Shepherd’s “Sherri,” though that is not a struck show that is covered by the WGA. Kelly Clarkson’s talk show, which moved from Los Angeles to New York City over the summer, has not announced a premiere date yet. “The View,” which also has two WGA writers on staff, never ceased production and has been airing throughout the strikes without its writers.

Talk shows operate under the SAG-AFTRA Network Code, allowing talk show hosts to continue in their hosting role, so none of the hosts are violating SAG-AFTRA rules.

“The Talk” is not in national syndication, so it does not have contractual obligations to local station partners, like Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Hudson, Sherri Shepherd and Kelly Clarkson. “The Talk” is a network show on CBS, just like “The View” is on ABC.

“The Talk,” which is co-hosted by Jerry O’Connell, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales and Sheryl Underwood, has one writing position on staff. The show halted production in May, shortly after the strike began. Last week, amid plans to return on September 18, “The Talk” filmed a rehearsal show, which was picketed.

Variety has reached out to the WGA for comment on “The Talk” and “The Drew Barrymore Show” pushing back their return dates.

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