At the end of September, CBS made history by launching the first-ever all-female sports talk show. Every staff member of "We Need To Talk" -- yes, this means producers, directors and 12 on-air commentators — is female.
Although women's sports have grown exponentially in the 40-plus years since the advent of Title IX, they continue to struggle to draw crowds or ratings. It seems that women enjoy participating in sports, but, as commentator Frank Deford notes, "do not seem to care that much about watching other women participate."
Perhaps for this reason, CBS has been clear to stress that "We Need To Talk" isn't a show about women's sports.
Former Oakland Raiders CEO and "We Need To Talk" commentator Amy Trask told Sports Illustrated that "it is a show about sports and the overlap of sports and society, hosted by women, produced by women and directed by a woman.”
More info courtesy of Awful Announcing:
CBS Sports Network isn’t rated and has ordered the show in what it’s calling “flights” rather than seasons. The first one will run for 11 weeks, which will take it through December 16th, but it’s implied that the show has been ordered for follow-up “flights” beyond that.
The show has been marketed as a sports hybrid of "The View." From Sports Illustrated:
The show has 12 regular on-air commentators, including CBS Sports staffers Dana Jacobson, Allie LaForce, Amy Trask, Lesley Visser and Tracy Wolfson. There’s also an Emmy award-winning journalist from another network (Andrea Kremer) and a host of former athletes (Katrina Adams, Laila Ali, Swin Cash, Lisa Leslie, Summer Sanders and Dara Torres), most of whom have post-athletic broadcasting experience.
Every week the cast of characters shifts — there will be between four and five commentators — based on who can best comment on the week's news.
The world of sports has long been dominated by men — from players, to coaches, to executives, to the media. "We Need To Talk" gives strong, smart women an opportunity to share their opinions and experiences. When the show discussed the Ray Rice scandal, the commentators empathized with Janay Rice, noting how much more difficult it must be to deal with the situation while in the limelight; criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL leadership for not taking the issue seriously; and shared their own stories as survivors of domestic violence. Where else would you hear that?
How will the show fair? Is CBS ahead of the ball or will it strike out? "We Need to Talk" airs on Tuesdays nights at 10 p.m. EST on CBS Sports.