EXCLUSIVE: The Talk executive producer Brad Bessey will be leaving CBS’ talk show after the end of its freshman season. Bessey had notified CBS of his plans earlier this month and shared the news with The Talk co-hosts today. Bessey launched The Talk, the first network daytime talk show to successfully premiere in nearly 10 years. Since its October debut, the show, hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini, has averaged an O.K. 2.21 million viewers, a 1.0/6 rating in women 25-54 and 0.8/5 in women 18-49. Because The Talk is owned by CBS, it is already more profitable for the network than the soap it replaced, As the World Turns. It has also started to sell internationally.
Meanwhile, Bessey and his reps at WME have been approached for several projects currently in development which Bessey could not pursue if he’d reup with The Talk. So, with the show’s future secure after the pickup, Bessey opted to leave to work on other things but intends to stay on until the summer to assure a smooth transition. CBS has started looking for a replacement. Last year, CBS recruited Bessey from the company’s domestic syndication division where he spent fifteen years at Entertainment Tonight.