Jerry O’Connell is performing double duty these days. He’s newly hosting The Talk each week on CBS, and on Thursdays, episodes of the animated space adventure Star Trek: Lower Decks drop on streamer Paramount+.
This week’s Lower Decks episode, titled “The Spy Humongous,” is “a fun episode,” according to Mike McMahan, Lower Decks’ creator. “You’re going to see that the bridge crew does a lot of sci-fi stuff in between episodes and our Lower Deckers have to clean up the items that they bring back to the shop and get them stored. That causes a little bit of trouble for our plucky ensigns.”
Of course, that won’t affect Commander Jack Ransom (O’Connell) much as the ship’s steadfast leader. McMahan describes Lower Decks as a series that “takes everything you and know and love about Star Trek and amps it up.”
Below, TV Insider chatted with O’Connell about how both he and his wife, Rebecca Romijn (who plays Trek‘s Number One and will star in the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) are part of the Star Trek family, The Talk’s new season, how he owes Montana Jordan (young Georgie) for his role as Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) adult brother George on CBS’s sitcom hit The Big Bang Theory, and that time Family Guy poked a little fun at him.
Who officially joined the Star Trek family first – you or Rebecca?
Jerry O’Connell: My wife did. I have to say it’s really fun that we’re both a part of the Starfleet family. I feel like I’m part of a royal family.
Your fellow Talk host Amanda Kloots is competing on Dancing With the Stars this season. Will you be watching?
I can’t wait! I want to be there for every episode and to cheer her on. If Amanda doesn’t win, I’m going to….[Laughs] well, it’s going to get crazy.
How does it feel to have a live audience once again on The Talk?
It’s really cool, not only from a talk show perspective but just from a human perspective. It’s crazy to be around hundreds of people. It’s so different. It’s just awesome and fun. We have a new panel. It’s new for all of us. I think we’re gelling pretty quickly, already.
What’s it like to have that energy from the audience?
It’s a completely different experience. I forgot what it’s like to be around hundreds of people and have an audience. Sheryl [Underwood] has a big background in standup and it’s so fun to see her come alive. She really feeds off the audience. We have restrictions still. I like to hug and give high-fives [but] there are still some restrictions. There’s definitely a good vibe at The Talk. We’ve got some new things going on and hopefully, that will translate into the viewing experience at home.
How is it working with Akbar Gbajabiamila (American Ninja Warrior) on the show as a host?
I love Akbar. I really do. It’s so cool to work with him. He’s a star. He’s so much fun to work with. He adds such a fun perspective to what we have at the show. We’ve got a couple of dudes on the show now who have kids. It’s going to be different from anything else that’s on the daytime landscape. We’re optimistic about people responding to what we’re putting on the air every day.
And of course, tell us about your “mini-you,” Montana Jordan, who plays young Georgie Cooper on CBS’s Big Bang spinoff, Young Sheldon.
[Well], I got to play him. He was cast way before I was. It was funny. They had cast me because I look like Montana. The chicken came after the egg in this case. I followed him around for a week and learned his mannerisms. He’s a nice kid.
Family Guy spoofed your 1986 film Stand By Me in an episode titled “Three Kings” back in 2009. Narrator Richard Dreyfuss gave an update as to what happened to the actors in the original film and said that you, “grew up and went on to marry Rebecca Romijn… Actually, I’m not even joking about that…can you believe that? Look it up on the Internet! Doesn’t that piss you off?” How does that make you feel?
[Laughs] I have not seen it but a lot of people remind me of it…[Wryly] I’m as shocked as anyone else!
Star Trek: Lower Decks, Streaming, Paramount Plus
The Talk, Weekdays, CBS