If your TV package includes access to CBS Sports, there’s a new show headed your way that also marks a first in the world of sports broadcasting. The CBS division announced on Tuesday that it will soon be launching a brand-new sports show featuring an all-female panel, set to premiere Sept. 30.
Entitled “We Need To Talk,” the weekly hour-long primetime show will have a round-table discussion format led by CBS sportscasters Tracy Wolfson and Allie LaForce, former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask, and sportscasters Dana Jacobson and Lesley Visser, who is TV’s first female NFL analyst and was voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association in 2009.
The announcement also mentioned several additional guests expected to appear with the core group as contributors, a list that includes an impressive array of female athletes such as prolific Olympic swimming champs Dara Torres and Summer Sanders, former basketball star Lisa Leslie, current WNBA player Swin Cash, Laila Ali, and sports journalist Andrea Kremer, among others. Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” are also reportedly scheduled to make guest appearances.
Women will play a prominent role behind the scenes as well. Coordinating producers include Emilie Deutsch and Suzanne Smith, who is the only woman currently acting as a producer or director for NFL games. Smith has also been tapped to direct, while Amy Salmonson and Julie Keryc will act as producers. USA Today notes that CBS personalities will continue in their normal roles for the network during football season in addition to the show.
David Berson, president of CBS Sports, clarifies that the show isn't intended to be a “women’s sports TV show,” but rather a sports show featuring women. Berson also said social issues and women’s issues may be discussed “when warranted” but ultimately emphasized that the show is intended to be aimed at all sports fans, be they men or women.
“I’ve lived quite a bit of firsts in my career, so I know when someone is taking a chance,” Visser said. “And CBS is doing that.”