‘The Talk’ Signs Former NFL Player Akbar Gbajabiamila as Co-Host

Akbar Gbajabiamila is joining The Talk. The former NFL player is shown at the NBC And Universal EMMY Nominee Celebration at the Tesse Restaurant on August 13, 2019 in West Hollywood, CA. (Credit: Shutterstock)

A fresh face is joining The Talk when the all-new season debuts on Sept. 13.

Television host and former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila will be taking a seat next to previously announced co-host Jerry O’Connell, as well as returning panelists Sheryl Underwood and Amanda Kloots.

CBS announced Gbajabiamila’s new role in a press release Thursday, making him the second male co-host on the panel.

“It is an absolute honor to be joining The Talk as a host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a long-standing establishment. To be a part of this diverse group is truly a dream and a new statement for The Talk,” Gbajabiamila said in a statement.

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“In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self every day and advocating for conversation over confrontation,” the American Ninja Warrior host continued.

The move comes just days after Elaine Welteroth announced she was leaving the show after just one season to focus on “upcoming creative projects.”

On Aug. 20, Carrie Ann Inaba officially announced her exit from the daytime talk show, which makes Underwood and Kloots the only co-hosts from last season to return for season 12. The shift in co-hosts has added to the CBS show’s struggles after Sharon Osbourne was forced out in March, following a heated and racially-charged debate with Underwood.

Before joining The Talk and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior franchise, the former San Diego Chargers player contributed to KSWB, an NBC radio affiliate in San Diego, and co-hosted Football Night in San Diego from 2007-2008. He went on to serve as an analyst for the Mountain Network and CBS Sports before joining the NFL Network in 2012.

The Talk season 12 debuts on Monday, Sept. 13.