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Top 5 Talk Show Moments of 2012

The year belonged to daytime TV and Stephen Colbert


The news this year was all focused on daytime talk shows. Late night talk shows barely made a whisper - unless you're talking about Stephen Colbert, who seemed to be everywhere this year. Heck, he even made Maxim's 100 Hottest Women list.

1. Colbert Rules Late Night

Colbert at the Colbert-Cain Rally in South Carolina
Richard Ellis/Getty Images

This may have been the year of the daytime talk show, but the when Stephen Colbert joked in 2012, the world laughed.

It began with an erstwhile run for President of the United States - but only in his home state of South Carolina. And ended with a flurry of talk about whether Colbert might get appointed to the U.S. Senate after South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint announced his intention to the leave his position.

But the topper was Colbert's second Peabody win. The Peabody Award recognizes excellence in television and radio broadcasting - and in April, The Colbert Report grabbed its second award.

This time, the Peabody saluted Colbert's coverage of political SuperPACs, political action committees that are meant to have no coordination with candidates, but are often organized and managed by people close to the candidates, such as former staffers, business partners and close friends. Donors can fund SuperPACs without limits. Part of Colbert's satirical campaign included creating his own SuperPAC, "Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow."

2. ‘The Today Show’ Fires Ann Curry

Ann Curry
Getty Images

It was swift and very unexpected - at least publicly. And there are plenty little bits of speculation as to why and when and how. But in the course of one month - June, specifically - rumors arose and then were confirmed when Ann Curry said goodbye to viewers of The Today Show on June 28. "This is not as I ever expected, to leave this couch after 15 years," she said.

As soon as the story was reported, fans of Curry leapt into action, with the hope of helping the anchor keep her post. Curry set up her own defense by hiring attorney Robert Barnett to negotiate with NBC.

When the dust settled, Curry stepped away from the anchor desk to join NBC as a senior correspondent and a sometimes Today Show contributor. She returned to Today a month after her departure for a special report from the 2012 Summer Olympics.

3. Daytime Talk Show Wars Heat Up

Katie Couric
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
A slew of new daytime talk shows debuted in Fall 2012, including Katie, Ricki Lake, The Steve Harvey Show and The Jeff Probst Show. More new shows are on the way, including The Bethenny Frankel Show. There's barely room for all of them. And that squeeze has already snatched its first victim: Anderson Live. Anderson Cooper's show was cancelled in mid-November to allegedly make way for Frankel's show. Anderson Live will go off the air in the summer.

4. Anderson Cooper Announces He is Gay

Anderson Cooper reveals he is gay.
Jamel Countess/Getty Images

For many years, rumors about daytime talk show host Anderson Cooper's sexuality swirled - and were unofficially confirmed - but Cooper made it public in July.

"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud," Cooper told a Daily Beast journalist.

Cooper revealed his sexual orientation in part because he didn't want anyone thinking he was trying to hide something. He also underscored his belief that reporters' political, religious and love lives should be kept private, if only for the safety of the individual.

5. Arsenio Hall Announces His Return to Late Night Television

Angela Weiss/Getty Images

In any other year, this might not be news. But late night icon Arsenio Hall's announcement in June that he would make a return to late night television in a new talk show could be an omen of what 2013 has to offer. Daytime TV saw the return of Ricki Lake and a rebirth of the traditional talk show. Could 2013 see the same thing happen in late night?

Discover what we really think will happen in 2013 with our Top 5 2013 Talk Show Predictions.

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