So Hall pitched a daytime show rooted in those conversations to Disney-ABC. They were in. Her self-titled talk show will be syndicated across the country on ABC affiliate stations and feature a mix of real women and celebrities. The format will vary from episode to episode, ranging from interviews to lifestyle segments, but Hall wants to give the traditional talk show structure an injection of 2019 culture. She says she’ll begin all conversations by asking guests about their sexual orientation and relationship status, before diving into a round of real talk.
In many ways, Tamron Hall will be the anti-Dr. Phil. Think: no paternity tests, but plenty of hormone testing. Or as Hall puts it, “If you go on [Dr. Phil] your relationship is already in trouble. It’s not fixable. For us, it’s having that authentic conversation you would have with your girlfriends. Like about fertility. I interviewed a woman who recently froze her eggs at 35 because she thought it was putting pressure on her relationships. That’s a major modern woman decision. That’s our show.”
Celebrities will also be prominently featured on Tamron Hall, but she plans to engage them on these issues. Her dream guest is Celine Dion—not to discuss her fashion or iconic career, but rather her fertility journey. “Celine’s a well-known person,” Hall explains, “but with the birth of her children that was a woman who wanted to be a mother and did what it took to get there.”
Fertility is top of mind for Hall, who had her first child, four-month-old Moses, this year. To conceive, she underwent in vitro fertilization, after having unsuccessful fertility procedures in her 30s.
And while the past few months have been an embarrassment of riches (albeit hard-fought ones), Hall is now figuring out how to “have it all.” She employs a nanny (something she wishes more women in the public eye would be vocal about); she insists on a dedicated half hour of cuddles with her son at 6:45 each morning; her husband, music manager Steven Greener, begins his day a bit later so he can finish Moses’ morning care. Even with the help, it’s not an easy schedule. “There’s no balance. I don’t know what that means,” she says. “There are some days where I look at my son in his crib in the morning when it’s dark and I’m flying a 5:00 in the morning flight to go promote the show, and I start crying because when it will be midnight [when I get back to the apartment] and he’ll be asleep. So he went the whole day without seeing me. But that’s the reality of it.”
These issues—marriage, motherhood, and figuring out how to make it all work—are the types of conversations Hall has been spending her days unpacking with her team, all of whom she hand selected. Early on, Hall says, she went to a development meeting for the program and found herself in a room of all men. Hall put her foot down: She never wanted to be the only woman in the room again. “Daytime television is predominantly watched by women,” she explains. “[Men are] not representative of the viewership. We need diversity in television, and it’s not just race. It’s geography, it’s different walks of life.” All of which she took care to have reflected in her staff. Hall’s creative team is now 30% black women. Many of the senior staffers are mothers. Women fill out nearly all of the key roles.
Now, with Tamron Hall on air, Hall wants to give herself the opportunity to marvel at how far she’s come. “I get emotional thinking about it. It’s been a hell of a journey,” she says. “People tell you to be proud of yourself. We tell our friends and our kids they should be proud. Yet when you actually are proud of yourself, you get shamed for that pride. With this show, whatever the outcome, I will be proud of myself.”