The announcement that The Talk would no longer be a girls’ club surprised everyone — including the female cohosts of the daytime chat show!

But the program’s first permanent male panelist, Jerry O’Connell, is up for the challenge. “I don’t want to say it’s scary, but it’s new so it’s a change,” says Jerry, who revealed the big news on July 15. “And change is good.”

Jerry, 47, the amiable father of two daughters and husband of actress Rebecca Romijn, has made friends on the set during his time as a guest host.

“Changing the all-female format was definitely something that surprised all the ladies, even some of the crew, but no one is complaining,” says an insider, who reveals that Jerry is already close with Sheryl Underwood and has made a good impression on panelists Elaine Welteroth and Amanda Kloots.

Carrie Ann Inaba, who is on leave from the show, also sent her congratulations to Jerry. “Everyone likes him,” shares the insider. “He’s a professional and a good guy.”

Jerry replaces Sharon Osbourne, the last original cohost of The Talk, who left in March after 11 years following a heated exchange with Sheryl and accusations of racism.

Jerry is much less likely to court controversy. A showbiz veteran who starred in the 1986 classic Stand by Me at age 12, he brings a feel-good energy to the panel. “His main concern is not embarrassing his wife and daughters,” says the insider.

He’s also much less polarizing. “Jerry doesn’t have one enemy in this town,” explains the insider. “He’s funny. He loves discussing pop culture and hot topics.”

And he couldn’t be more excited about his new gig. “We’re going to have a lot of fun,” Jerry says. “We really are.”