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Julie Chen Skips ‘The Talk’ Season Opener

The Future of 'Big Brother' is Now a Question Mark

Julie Chen did not appear on yesterday’s ninth season premiere of “The Talk” on CBS, which was the day after her husband, Leslie Moonves, exited as CEO-chairman of CBS Corporation. “I am taking a few days off from ‘The Talk’ to be with my family. I will be back soon and will see you Thursday night on Big Brother,” Chen said in a statement.

Host Sharon Osbourne kicked off the show saying, “It’s a very bittersweet day for a season 9. We’re about to talk about something that affects everyone’s lives at CBS. I’ve never been nervous in my life, and I am very nervous right now. As you all know, Julie’s husband is in the news, and she’s taking off time to be with her family.”

Added Osbourne, “I want to say that whatever times I’ve had of hardship over the past eight years, Julie has always been there for me. She’s been a friend. She’s been someone who I admire and respect greatly. It’s very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about her husband, but we do. We feel it’s right. I personally know Les Moonves in a superficial way. It was, ‘Hello, how are you?’ Nothing more. I know nothing about the man, other than that he’s Julie’s husband, and he was the head of the biggest network in the world, and the most powerful man in TV.”

After steering CBS Corp. for 25 years, Moonves stepped down as chairman-CEO after six additional women surfaced claiming sexual misconduct. CBS Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello has been named interim CEO of the company.

Moonves issued a statement on Sunday night, citing “untrue allegations” about his behavior. In the statement, Moonves said he was “deeply saddened to be leaving the company.”

Rumors, meanwhile, continue to circulate about the pending demise of summer reality staple “Big Brother” if Chen decides to also depart. From a traditional ratings standpoint, that is highly unlikely.