THE TALK has reached its highest ratings since Sharon Osbourne quit the show, as new host Natalie Morales has been credited for “saving” the struggling daytime series.
The Talk ratings have soared ever since Natalie, 49, joined the show in October, as the departures of Sharon Osbourne, Carrie Ann Inaba and Elaine Welteroth this year have left ratings struggling.
The Sun can exclusively reveal ratings for the week of October 25 to 29 have reached 1,526,000 viewers.
Soap Opera Digest noted these were the highest ratings the show has received in eight months.
In March, when ratings were high, original host Sharon, 69, quit the show after her on-air fight with Sheryl Underwood over her decision to stand by her friend Piers Morgan's criticism of Meghan Markle.
A source exclusively told The Sun that The Talk crew is overjoyed over Natalie’s addition, as the insider revealed she was hired as the “secret sauce to help improve ratings.”
The insider continued: “She is someone in the industry that no one has an unkind word to say about and that reputation is well deserved.
“To say she has been welcomed with open arms is an understatement. Love at first sight would be the more accurate way to put it.”
The Sun previously reported ratings have improved drastically since Natalie joined.
Ratings for the week of October 11, which was Natalie’s premiere week, brought in 1,459,000 viewers, the highest numbers in weeks, according to Soap Opera Network.
For the week before, just 1,393,000 viewers tuned in.
The week of September 27 had 1,442,000 viewers watch.
Ratings were even lower the week before with 1,392,000 people.
The season premiere on September 13, which was also Akbar Gbaja-Biamila’s debut as a permanent host, had just 1,336,000 viewers.
NATALIE SAVES THE DAY
Fans have credited Natalie for saving the show, while calling for the firing of Sheryl, 57.
One wrote on The Talk’s Facebook page: “Natalie is a seasoned professional journalist. She’s doing great interacting with the audience and guests.
“Sheryl is going to get jealous because everybody likes Natalie more and try to concoct a ‘plan’ to get rid of her as well.”
A second said: “How did The Talk score with Natalie Morales!? What a great add! She brings much needed credibility to the show and has such a charismatic personality. She blends in well with Akbar, Jerry and Amanda.
"Now they just need to replace Sheryl and the show can be a hit!!”
A third penned: “Good show today, Natalie and Akbar are excellent additions to the show. I love Amanda, she’s genuine and a beautiful person in and out. Jerry is the needed humor to make the show lighter.
“But I still don’t understand Sheryl’s part in this show, she is totally out place, and she knows it. I think is time for her to concentrate on being a comedian, and not a talk show host.”
TENSION WITH SHERYL
The Sun previously reported Sheryl was “blindsided” by Natalie’s addition to the talk show, as she “felt she should have been consulted and kept in the loop out of respect for her seniority with the show.”
The insider continued to allege: “There is so much hoopla surrounding Natalie and so much publicity and airtime devoted to her joining the show.
“Amanda has Dancing With the Stars and is getting lots of attention so that makes Sheryl feel like she's not getting the eyeballs that she wants.
“Sheryl feels she isn't getting credit for being the glue that holds the show together.”
Natalie has also been moderating during her premiere week, as the source continued to claim: “Natalie was the clear choice for moderator.
“Sheryl would love that role and to be the main star of the show, but Natalie is a much bigger name and has earned to be the lead because she brings gravitas, experience and her following from her years at NBC.
“Everyone hopes Natalie can be the secret sauce to improved ratings.”
But a separate inside show source told The Sun: "The hosts and show are in a great place right now, everything is clicking creatively and everyone is excited to be working together.”
ANGER MANAGEMENT CLAIMS
The tension comes as Sharon claimed on The Megyn Kelly Show on SiriusXM that Sheryl was sent to anger management three times for “mistreating producers.”
During the interview, Sharon alleged: “Sheryl had three complaints about her from different producers about the way she treated them.
"They called me and I said, ‘You cannot get rid of Sheryl. There is no way. She can't take that. You just can't do it.’
“So they sent her to anger management. So, it's alright to treat producers that way, but I can't say anything to a co-host.”
The show currently stars Natalie, Sheryl, Akbar, Amanda Kloots and Jerry O'Connell.
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