Sources tell Variety that Inaba has closed a deal to join the CBS daytime chat show, and will come aboard in January. A CBS representative declined to comment for this story.
Inaba has been one of several guest hosts filling in since Chen’s departure from the daytime talker in September, which came on the heels of Chen’s husband–CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves–being ousted from the company over multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Inaba joins a panel that consists of Eve, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood. Previous co-hosts include Marissa Jaret Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini, and Aisha Tyler.
A judge on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” since the series premiered in 2005, Inaba began her career as a singer in Japan before being cast as one of the original Fly Girl dancers on the hit Fox series “In Living Color.” She has also worked as a choreographer on shows like “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol,” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Chen announced she was leaving “The Talk” in a pre-recorded message that aired at the end of the episode on Sept. 18. In the message, Chen gave Inaba a shout out, saying, “You’d look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. I’m just saying.”
“I will always, always cherish the memories we shared,” Chen said of her time on the show. “Most important, I want to thank you, the viewers, for allowing me into your home every day. It was a privilege that I will forever be grateful for.”
Chen remains the host of the CBS reality series “Big Brother.”