Natalie Morales Excited to 'Start Something Different' as She Joins The Talk After NBC Exit
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty
Natalie Morales is onto her next adventure.
On Monday, CBS officially announced that the former NBC anchor and correspondent will be the latest co-host to join The Talk. PEOPLE confirmed Morales' new gig via a source on Friday, after she revealed that she was leaving NBC after 22 years. She will make her debut on Oct. 11.
"It's an extraordinary opportunity to be joining this team at The Talk," Morales, 49, said in a statement. "I love the new energy and direction and couldn't be more excited to join Sheryl, Amanda, Jerry and Akbar. I'm looking forward to many good times while talking about the days' topics, and I can't wait to get going."
"We couldn't be more excited to have Natalie Morales join The Talk family," added executive producers Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews. "We have been fans of her and her work for years. Her varied skillset and versatility are a great addition to our talented panel. Natalie's intelligence, passion and enthusiasm always shine through in all her work, and we are fortunate to have her on the team. In addition to her role as an exceptional broadcaster, we believe her perspective as a wife and mother will provide a special connection with our audience."
During Monday's episode of the show, current hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O'Connell and Sheryl Underwood welcomed Morales and briefly chatted with her as she joined them virtually.
JUST ANNOUNCED! #TheTalk welcomes @nmoralestv as a new host beginning Monday, October 11 for Season 12! 🥳 pic.twitter.com/nWNQbHrxMY
— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) October 4, 2021
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"I've got to say, it was the warmest welcome," Morales told her new colleagues. "You guys have embraced me with such open arms and I love chatting with each of you. As you all know, I had an incredible relationship [with NBC] — almost as long as I've been married. I've been married 23 years, I was at NBC for 22 years."
"So I had a wonderful time there, but it's always exciting and new to start something different, and I love this new adventure that we're all going to be taking together," she added.
She later addressed a message to each of the co-hosts.
"I just wanted to say to all of you: I've been a huge fan, I've been watching all of you as you all have been soaring on this show," she said. "Sheryl, I've been on there a couple of times with you and you always just made me feel so welcome and such a part of a team, so I can't wait to sit next to you."
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"Amanda, what you've been through has shown us all how to inspire and seeing you now soar ... on The Talk and also on Dancing with your foxtrot last week, amazing," Morales continued, referencing Kloot's late husband Nick Cordero, who died of COVID-19 last year, and her current role as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
"Jerry, I remember you dancing on top of a table last time you were on Access Hollywood with us, so I look forward to more dancing on the table," she said. "And Akbar and I go back."
"We go way back," confirmed Gbajabiamila, 42.
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Underwood, 57, finished out the segment by noting the current diversity of The Talk panel.
"It was so nice to speak with you and to welcome you to our family," she said to Morales. "And I really want to say to the world: this host configuration represents what the nation looks like and I think we're gonna have some great conversation. I'm just so happy that you are coming to play with us and have fun with us and bring some great conversation."
The Talk has undergone several shakeups over the past year. In March, CBS announced the departure of former co-host Sharon Osbourne amid a series of controversies and in August, co-host Carrie Ann Inaba announced her exit after three seasons.
Later that month, Elaine Welteroth revealed that she was leaving the daytime series after one season.
O'Connell, 47, joined The Talk in July as Osbourne's replacement, and Gbajabiamila was announced as a co-host in September.