CBS is doubling down on its commitment to Sheryl Underwood, the Emmy-winning host of “The Talk.”

Underwood has inked a multi-year deal to remain on the panel of the daytime talk series through Season 15 (“The Talk” is currently in its 12th season), plus she’s entered into a new two-year first-look deal with CBS Studios.

“‘The Talk’ will forever be my home; I have no intentions of going anywhere, but while I have this platform and while I have access to the audience, I want to be as integral in the success of the corporation of CBS as I possibly can,” Underwood tells Variety of expanding her relationship with the network. “I want to be able to create content — not just for me to star in, but for other people to get the same opportunity and go on the same journey, especially women and stand-up comics.”

Underwood joined “The Talk” in September 2011, as the show entered into its second season, and earned a Daytime Emmy Award alongside her fellow hosts in 2017.

On behalf of CBS, CEO George Cheeks stated: “Sheryl has been critical to ‘The Talk’s’ success for more than a decade and we’re excited that she will be part of the conversation for several years to come. Having the chance to share her unique voice and storytelling through this new partnership with CBS Studios is a creative way to expand our valued partnership.”

When she was first approached to board the series, Underwood was best known for her work as a stand-up comic who appeared on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” so she was surprised to learn the network (which was more conservative than her comedy material) was interested.

“I did not know that a job was even open; I was being called for a general meeting and I’d gotten so tired of general meetings and getting nothing, that I wouldn’t take the call,” she recalls.

When she finally took the meeting, “The first thing they asked was who I was voting for,” she notes. “And I said, ‘You can’t ask that question. What kind of meeting is this?’ They were laughing because I was so naive to the process, so I started telling all these political jokes and they asked, ‘Would you talk like this on a TV show?’”

After a series of conversations with CBS brass and the team of then-hosts, Underwood landed a 13-week run on the series. She called Sherri Shepherd (who was a veteran of “The View” and just booked her own talk series, “Sherri”) for advice.

“I said, ‘Sherri, how do you do something every single day?’” Underwood reminisces. “And Sherri told me, ‘Remember your sister [referring to Underwood’s sister Frankie, who has had polio since she was a toddler]. Remember that’s what you’re working for.’ Because both of us have someone in our life that’s going to need us for all of their life.”

That perspective proved invaluable in Underwood’s journey at “The Talk,” with the host relying on “hopefulness” to carry her through the years. Now she’s signed on for Season 13 and beyond.

“Never in my life would I think I would be No. 1 on the call sheet — never. I was No. 5,” she says, looking back on the decade since she joined the show. “I respect the women that put this show together and all who have come through its doors. We’re all trying to just do a job, feed our families and get to retirement, but we’re also trying to give the world a respite in their daily lives, and that’s important to me.”

Underwood currently hosts the daily one-hour series alongside Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales and Jerry O’Connell.

“I love the trailblazing diversity,” she notes. “I love Natalie Morales, a Latina, as our moderator. The consummate newswoman, but a rascal with a sense of humor. Then, you bring on two men — that takes great courage to show that men and women can have great conversation.”

“Jerry O’Connell is the funniest guy — but he’s not just the comic relief. He’s very smart and well-connected in this industry,” she continues. “You have Akbar Gbajabiamila. Now what show has an African American — put the focus on African — athlete? What we see is these men as fathers, talking and representing the thoughts and feelings of other men, so women can see and hear it. And Amanda Kloots, a woman who’s become America’s sweetheart, as a young mother who is trying to find her way.”

The quintet’s chemistry is translating to ratings, with “The Talk” reporting that its shows during the week of Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 attracted the show’s largest overall audience since the week of April 2020. On Friday, March 11, the show will celebrate its 2,500th episode, giving fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at “the making of the show,” plus retrospectives from the show’s time on air. Among the celebrity guests joining in the party is “S.W.A.T.” star Shemar Moore.

Of Underwood’s contributions to the 14-time Emmy-winning series, executive producers Kristin Matthews and Heather Gray note: “Sheryl is a brilliant performer, who constantly connects with the audience through her authenticity, comedic wit and relatability. Not only does she make people laugh from what they see on screen, but she also does so behind-the-scenes. We are thrilled to continue this journey together.”

The feeling is mutual, as Underwood has nothing but praise for Matthews and Gray (“Two women who have guided me since day one.”) and the whole “Talk” team.

“Each and every day, those men and women help mold me so I can do this. I was just a stand-up comic that was discovered for daytime,” Underwood says. “I want to thank all those men and women, all those unseen and unsung people — craft service, all the way to lighting, lighting this chocolate skin like I’m 35 years old. This is a home and a family that I pray love me and I love them.”

She adds: “I want to thank George Cheeks and CBS for investing in me. From the moment that we first met, I knew that this was someone who saw my potential and my talent.”

Regarding the first-look deal, Underwood next aims to develop content for both the CBS network and the Paramount Plus streaming service.

“I want to be like Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Steve Harvey,” she says, divulging her big plans. “I want to be able to develop music competition shows; we don’t have that yet. I want to be able to develop a game show; we don’t have it yet. I want to be able to develop dramas and situation comedies. It doesn’t mean I have to star in them, but I would like a good cameo.”

Her first mission is to create a weekly nighttime talk show. “I want to satisfy my ‘Def Comedy Jam’ audience — not just those who’ve grown up with me, but the young people that are discovering me, because that’s footage is out there,” she says.

Moreover, deepening her relationship with CBS is an emotional endeavor for Underwood, who says the network was her late father’s favorite.

“’Gunsmoke,’ ‘All in the Family,’ ‘The Jeffersons’ and ‘60 Minutes’ — that’s what he watched. And I know he sees it because he helped put the foundation in me to be someone who honors their word and their work,” she says, choking up. “I love the relationship I have with the audience, because it’s the same relationship that my father had with the company. He was the audience.”

“The Talk” airs weekdays 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT on CBS.

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Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Sheryl Underwood, Jerry O’Connell & Natalie Morales, hosts of the CBS daytime series THE TALK.  Courtesy of Cliff Lipson/CBS CBS