Sara Gilbert announced her departure from The Talk on Tuesday in a moment that was emotional for everyone.
Gilbert told fans her big news on the air on Tuesday surrounded by her co-hosts and an enthusiastic audience. Their reaction to Gilbert's departure was explosive, and as the clip aired on TV then made the rounds online it had the same impact.
"This is hard to do," Gilbert began, her voice already breaking. She gave a deep sigh, and her co-hosts reached out their hands in solidarity.
"I've decided that it's time for me to leave the show at the end of this season," she said. “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.”
As Gilbert spoke, her co-stars looked on with sad yet resigned expressions. The cameras also panned over the audience, where fans seemed completely taken aback, but still supportive of Gilbert.
“It’s difficult because this is a place that I love and a place that I’m extremely happy. I love the hosts, I love the crew, I love our staff, I’m so grateful to the audience for letting me in your homes every day. It’s been such an honor,” she concluded.
Gilbert will be on The Talk for the rest of the season, and she promised that even then she will not be gone for good. The talk show host said that she will still "come back" and will "guest co-host" when the schedules line up. In the meantime, fans did not seem to begrudge her the chance to work on her own life.
Gilbert created The Talk in 2010, and has been an executive producer as well as a co-host ever since. She took that experience with her to the Roseanne reboot and now to The Conners, which she also executive produces.
Gilbert's departure from The Talk comes less than a year after co-host Julie Chen bade the show farewell. So far, there is no word on a replacement for Gilbert.
The Talk airs on weekdays at 2 p.m. ET on CBS.