Forget late night. All the big stories in 2012 came out of the world of daytime talk shows. The most controversial? NBC's dismissal of Ann Curry. The most exciting? The growing world of daytime talk. More than five shows debuted in the fall - with even more on the way - and absolutely nowhere to put them all. How will it all shake out? 2013 will let us know!
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.
The pretty much confirmed rumors about daytime talk show host Anderson Cooper's sexuality swirled for years, 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.
Robin Roberts, who notably battled and defeated breast cancer in 2007, announced to audiences on Good Morning America that she was facing another battle, this time against a rare bone marrow disease, myelodyspastic syndrome, sometimes called pre-leukemia. She was off GMA for the final few months of the year, fighting the disease.
Sam Champion, Good Morning America's weather forecaster, were happy to learn of his engagement to longtime boyfriend Rubem Robierb. The couple plan to marry in New York, where same-sex marriage is legal.
Oprah Winfrey sat down with Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of deceased pop star Whitney Houston, in March to talk about her mother and growing up under the spotlight. The interview drew the largest viewer crowd in OWN's history so far, reminding many viewers of when Winfrey interviewed Michael Jackson.
Poor ratings and a growing competition in the world of daytime talk shows gave Martha Stewart pause at the beginning of 2012. Her heart told her it was time to wind down The Martha Stewart Show. Stewart celebrated highlights of her 7-year run - which saw her move from syndication to an exclusive deal with the Hallmark Channel. Her final show was in April.
February found daytime favorite Ellen DeGeneres taking the conservative group One Million Moms to task for its call to boycott JCPenney after DeGeneres was named the department store's newest spokesperson. One Million Moms, consisting of about 40,000 members, claimed JCP was "jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon" by bringing DeGeneres on board. For its trouble, One Million Moms endured a public backlash for its boycott and JCP refused to give in to the group's bullying. They didn't go away, though. When DeGeneres returned for a holiday commercial in November, One Million Mom's was back at it. But this time, no one paid any attention.
It took less than five months for The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to cancel The Rosie Show. The show, featuring talk show host Rosie O'Donnell was expected to be a cornerstone program for the network, which has struggled with ratings since it was launched in 2011. But the show, a throwback to Rosie's extremely popular 1990s The Rosie O'Donnell Show, never attracted a wide enough audience. "I was welcomed with open arms and will never forget the kindness of all I encountered," O'Donnell said upon her exit.
Since 2002, Time magazine has published its annual Top 100 Most Influential People in the World list. Oprah Winfrey has been on that list since it was launched - until 2012. Whether it was the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show or OWN's ongoing struggles, it's anyone's guess as to why Oprah fell of the list. We'll just have to wait for 2013 to find out if it's a trend.