CBS’ “The Talk” announced live on Jan. 2 that Carrie Ann Inaba has joined as a new host of the Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show.
She replaces Julie Chen, who was on the show since its inception in 2010 and left in September after her husband, Les Moonves, stepped down as CEO of CBS amid sexual misconduct allegations.
“Right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and young son,” said Chen, who will continue to host CBS’ “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” That show returns for a second season on Jan. 21. Chen has hosted the original “Big Brother” since 2000.
Inaba made her official debut last week, joining Eve, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, and Sheryl Underwood. Throughout the past two seasons, Inaba has appeared as a recurring guest co-host on “The Talk.”
“Everyone’s talking about it, and I’m excited to confirm it. We’re welcoming Carrie Ann Inaba to ‘The Talk’ table,” said Angelica McDaniel, executive vice president, daytime programs, CBS Entertainment. “Carrie Ann connects with audiences by being genuine. We appreciate her warmth, heart, and vulnerability, and love what she brings to the show.”
The hosts swap stories, challenge each other on issues, and engage the studio audience and viewers at home about events in the headlines and their own homes. Show segments include guest interviews with entertainers and newsmakers, musical performances, cooking demos with celebrity chefs, as well as real-world advice.
“Having the opportunity to sit at the table with Eve, Sara, Sharon, and Sheryl has been such an enriching experience and I’m honored and looking forward to joining them daily,” said Inaba. “It’s the authentic conversations and connection with the audience and the ladies that really drew me to ‘The Talk.’ I feel very fortunate to be a part of this show.”
In a message to her fans via Facebook, Inaba said, “To say I’m deeply humbled and touched just doesn’t seem to express enough of the gratitude I feel in my heart. This year, even though we are only six days in, is something out of a fairy tale. My dream really has come true.
“To be on a talk show is something I’ve been working towards for a long time, hoping I would have the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences and learn and grow though the interactions and discourse with others whom I respect and admire.
“I faced many setbacks along the way, but I didn’t give up my dream, nor did I stop trying to improve. I invested in myself, listened to those who had advice to share, followed my heart, and worked very hard. And then the universe and powers that be gave me the chance…
“I’m grateful and I intend to show up and stay open to learn and grow and let compassion and understanding lead me. Life really is an incredible journey. And I look forward to this new chapter with all of you.”
Inaba has served as a judge on ABC’s award-winning competition series “Dancing with the Stars” for all 27 seasons, since its debut in 2005. As an original judge, she has appeared in every episode to date. (The show usually has a spring and a fall season each year, but this year the show is on hiatus until the fall.)
Later, she was featured in a spinoff series with fellow judge Bruno Tonioli, titled “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann.”
Inaba began her television career in 1990 when she landed her first major role on Fox’s skit comedy show “In Living Color,” becoming one of the first Asian Americans to perform contemporary dance on national television as one of the Fly Girls. Also, she was a featured solo dancer during Madonna’s “The Girlie Show World Tour” in 1993.
She has appeared in such films as “Lord of Illusions,” “Showgirls,” “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” and such TV series as “Jack & Jill,” “Nikki” and “Hannah Montana.”
Inaba has served as a choreographer for other reality shows, including “Dance Fever,” “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “America’s Got Talent.”
Born in Honolulu, she is of Irish, Chinese and Japanese descent. She graduated from Punahou School, attended Sophia University and UC Irvine, and received a B.A. in world arts and cultures from UCLA. She lived in Tokyo from 1986 to 1988 and was a popular singer in Japan.