Talking Dead Names Yvette Nicole Brown Interim Host
Yvette Nicole Brown has been chosen as the interim host of AMC’s Talking Dead. The popular after show has been a staple of the network since the second season of The Walking Dead. It follows each new episode of the show with special guests and actors from the show making appearances as they break down the events of the episode. Talking Dead has since moved on to also cover episodes of The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead.
Brown takes over hosting duties from Chris Hardwick. Chloe Dykstra, Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend, wrote a piece detailing emotional and sexual abuse by an ex-boyfriend in a essay for the Medium in June. Though Hardwick wasn’t explicitly named, it was widely believed that she was referring to him. Hardwick made a statement denying the accusations, instead blaming Dykstra's infidelity for their breakup. In addition to Talking Dead, Hardwick also hosted Talking with Chris Hardwick on AMC. That show has since been put on hold. Additionally, Hardwick was scrubbed from the Nerdist website, which he founded, soon after the Medium essay posted.
According to Variety, AMC said in a statement that Brown will be the interim guest host of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special airing on August 5. She will also host the episode of Talking Dead following the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on August 12. In that same statement, AMC stated that she will stay in this role as they “work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick.” There is no word as of yet whether or not Brown will remain the host of Talking Dead when The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season in the Fall.
This news comes shortly after it was announced that Brown will be taking over hosting duties of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead panels at San Diego Comic-Con. Hardwick stepped down from hosting the panels as well as BBC’s Doctor Who panel after the accusations surfaced. It was speculated after this move that Brown would also take over hosting duties of Talking Dead. Now that speculation has been proven true. In response to her new SDCC gig, Brown clarified her stance, tweeting that she is "filling in for a friend [and] not jockeying for a job."
Brown made a name for herself starring in NBC's Community. She has been a frequent guest on Talking Dead, often with her notebook filled with analysis and reactions to the latest episode. Her knowledge and appreciation of the show is well known to fans of The Walking Dead. She is the logical choice to replace Hardwick. Now, whether or not that replacement is permanent is still unclear. Brown indicated she already has enough jobs without adding another to her plate. However, her love of the show may be the deciding factor that pushes her into accepting the position, if AMC chooses not to have Hardwick back.