Even though Oprah retired The Oprah Winfrey Show nearly two seasons ago, it isn't until this fall TV season that we really find out who will truly inherit the daytime TV crown Orpah left behind.
Five new shows represent the knock-down, drag-out of early fall. Here's the run down on those shows, when they premiere and who we think will come out on top when it's all said and done.
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World-renowned TV journalist Katie Couric
ventures into daytime TV with Katie
. The show promises to be "serious at times, obviously informative and fun. Really, a mixture of things we hope people will be interested in," says Couric in an interview with Reuters. It's expected to focus on personal stories, light entertainment and will certainly rely heavily on Couric's natural ability to interview guests. Couric underscores that it will not be a news show, but just as intriguing.
So how will it fare? We think Katie will come out on top - but only if Couric can easily transition between girl next door and serious journalist. The ability to dish and debate is Couric's strength. If she pulls that off in the daytime format, she'll be unstoppable.
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Popular comedian and radio talk shows host Steve Harvey
brings his talents to TV with a "comedy show with talk show elements," that will borrow from the comedian's popular series of relationship books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
. Harvey's show will focus on relationships, parenting, office politics, health and body, and more.
So how will it fare? Honestly, Harvey could be the break out star of the 2012 season - easily. If he shares his honest opinion - and there's nothing to suggest he won't - the show could soar. After all, it was Harvey who, in 2009, told viewers of The Tyra Banks Show that women shouldn't date atheist men. He suggested that someone with an atheistic view would have no "moral barometer." That's the kind of talk that gets shared around the water cooler.
20th Century Fox
is no stranger to daytime TV, already fronting a successful talk show
in the 1990s and early 2000s. Her new show, however, will steer clear of the sensational topics from Ricki Lake
, and instead take up where Oprah left off - discussing timely topics, social issues and visiting with a celebrity guest now and then.
So how will it fare? This is a tricky one. Lake is sure to secure the Gen X audience up front, as (ahem) those of us of that age bracket reminisce about our grunge and Hairspray days. But will her new style hold that audience? Then again, is there any other daytime talk show truly geared at Gen Xers? It may be that Lake is doing what she did in the first place - speaking to a neglected audience.
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The most unlikely talk show host of the fall is Survivor
host Jeff Probst
. His new show, The Jeff Probst Show
, will find Probst interviewing people in the news and taking on timely topics and trends. It's a familiar formula, but with the right amount of charm, Probst could make it look fresh and easy. And Probst isn't in unfamiliar territory. He was a regular guest co-host on Live with Kelly
during the year between co-host Regis Philbin's
departure and the announcement of Live
's newest host.
So how will it fare? Sorry, Jeff, but this might be one season and out. It's a crowded field, and unless Lake or Harvey falter, there may not be room for a Survivor. Maybe - maybe - two seasons.
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The Trisha Goddard Show
is a British import of sorts that finds host Goddard taking on the tabloid talk show market. American audiences will know Goddard from her guest hosting duties on Maury
. But Goddard's show was a big success in the U.K., which gives Goddard an edge similar to Lake: she knows her audience and she knows how to work that audience.
So how will it fare? We've seen the tabloid stuff a million times before. But if Goddard knows how to play that music, she could be around for a while.
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Okay, we don't know that the newest incarnation of Live
will be titled that, but assuming that it is true that Michael Strahan
will join Kelly Ripa
on the show as her new co-host, we can only guess this is the title that will be revealed.
So why is Live in this list of new shows? Because, with Strahan, the show essentially relaunches as a new entity - and an unknown entity. How will the chemistry between Strahan and Ripa play out? Match made in heave? Or conflict behind the scenes? Does the audience change? Does it skew younger? What about the set? Where is the sucker goin'? It's all fascinating and could proved to give all these new shows a run for their money.