Why 'The Talk' Didn't Replace Julie Chen With Rosie O'Donnell

The Talk panel CBS has today could have been much different if Rosie O'Donnell had her way after Julie Chen's departure.

In an interview with Access this week, Ramin Setoodeh, the author behind Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of 'The View,' confirmed whisperings from September that The View alum had been interested in replacing the Big Brother host on the panel.

"Right when Julie Chen left, she said she was interested in the seat," he told the outlet. "She went out and tried it. She was open to moving to Los Angeles at the time — she's now said she doesn't want to move — but she was interested in doing the show, and they went with a different direction.

When asked what played into the network choosing to go with Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba over O'Donnell, Setoodeh explained, "I think money was an issue. Rosie O'Donnell isn't cheap. ...She brings it."

In September, Chen announced to audiences that she would be leaving the show she helped start nine years ago.

"Right now I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son," she told the camera. "I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast crew and staff have become family to me over the years. I will always, always cherish the memories we shared. Most importantly, I want to thank you, the viewers, for allowing me into your home every day. It was a privilege that I will forever be grateful for."

In December, Inaba was revealed to be her replacement, telling PopCulture.com recently, "The sort of way I look at my own self-worth has changed and grown from being on this panel. These women have a lot of self-respect."

"When you are considered an equal to four women you think that way of, it was a shift in the way I view myself," Inaba continued. "That has elevated the way I view myself, because now I'm one of them."

There's another opening coming to the panel again, however, with Sara Gilbert announcing earlier this month that she would also be leaving the show.

"I've decided that it's time for me to leave the show at the end of this season," she told the cameras. "I obviously love it here, and like I said, this was extremely difficult."

"Last season, I did The Conners and was also producing and [hosted] here," Gilbert continued. "I loved it and felt totally empowered, but also, if I'm being honest about it, my life was slightly out of balance. I wasn't able to spend as much time with my three kids as I'd like, or time for myself."


The Talk airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo credit: Getty / Gabriel Olsen