Sara Gilbert, Unlikeliest Talk-Show Host Ever?

Gilbert's gig as a cohost on The Talk is a departure for the snarky actress. So why was the show her idea?

Lots of celebrities have the gift of gab, and they lean heavily on it. Sara Gilbert isn't one of them. It's one of her most admirable traits. On Roseanne, she introduced herself to TV viewers as the nonchalant, sensible, snarky younger sister, Darlene. And in the years since, this 35-year-old actress hasn't strayed far from her cool-as-a-cucumber persona. When she landed on Fox's 24 in 2002, her CTU operative was like Darlene grown up -- smart, composed and a little smug. Gilbert has always seemed the sort of person who stands off to the side, rolling her eyes at other peoples' outlandish behavior. Someone who'd never be able to stomach a loud TV talkfest like, say, ABC's The View.


So it's a little perplexing to hear that the latest TV talkfest, CBS's The Talk (weekdays, 2 p.m. ET), is the brainchild of… Sara Gilbert. The show is like The View, but the panelists are all moms who discuss issues "through the lens of motherhood." The cohosts are super-gabby celebrities (in some cases, straight-up loudmouths): Julie Chen (host of The Early Show and Big Brother), Sharon Osbourne (judge on America's Got Talent), Holly Robinson Peete (actress and recent Celebrity Apprentice candidate), Leah Remini (the King of Queens actress) and Marissa Jaret Winokur (star of Broadway's Hairspray and former host of Oxygen's Dance Your A** Off). Sitting amidst this feisty and often silly group, Gilbert seems even more reserved than usual.

During the first show, Gilbert smiled quietly while the others talked over one another. Then, at Chen's bidding, she offered up the show's back story. She described how overwhelmed she'd felt as a parent of two daughters. After finding comfort in a support group for moms, she was sitting in the bathtub one day when she dreamed up the idea of a similar group -- on TV.

"So now I'm sitting here," she said. "And I'm like, 'Wait a minute. I'm so not a talk show host.'"

"She hates to talk," added Remini. And then the conversation swept on without Gilbert, onto the next topic. She went back to her muted self, looking relieved. Watch the clip now:

Naturally, the head-scratcher here is why Gilbert chose this hyper forum for her next professional move. Doesn't she want to roll her eyes at her cohosts or come up with snide comebacks? Why create a situation where you continually have to reign in your impulse to smack someone?

Early in the first episode, Peete made a comment that might help to explain Gilbert's motives. When the women took their seats around the table, Peete wiped away tears. "I'm just so grateful to have a job," she said. Could this be Gilbert's feeling, too? She has to raise her kids, after all. If she's going to a mom support group anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone -- and make some money while doing it? The salary would certainly make it easier to listen to Osbourne carry on about husband Ozzy Osbourne.

Here's a question, though. What do viewers get paid to watch this silliness?

Why do you think Sara Gilbert is taking on the role of talk-show host? Chime in below!

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