When The Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air in 2011 — which coincided with the beloved All My Children and One Life to Live being canceled in one fell swoop by then ABC Daytime executive Brian Frons – suddenly the daytime programming market became a wide open space, and networks were more than eager to take chances on new talk shows than anything else, and after all the disappointment, after disappointment for soap fans, that day is here when on Monday three new talks shows take up room on the daytime programming block! The Ricki Lake Show, Katie, and The Jeff Probst Show — all premiere tomorrow Monday, September 10.
Yahoo TV! Takes a look at each of the new series and what they propose to offer for daytime fans, but also give time for a rebuttal and a different take on the situation from noted Soap Opera Digest columnist and author, Carolyn Hinsey. Here are some excerpts!
“For much of the summer Katie Couric has been in publicity overdrive for her show Katie, which will be news-driven, but will also cover lifestyles topics.” The marketing department of ABC came up with ‘smart with heart,’ which I actually thought was a great kind of description of what I would ideally like the show to be,” the 55-year-old told TV critics this summer. While you shouldn’t expect to see her sitting down with Sarah Palin again, she will dip into the political world, interviewing the wives and children of presidential and vice-presidential candidates. There will be plenty of celebrity types too.”
As for The Ricki Lake Show, Lake says she has acquired a wisdom she didn’t have when she was younger at her first attempt as host of her own talk series. So don’t expect any Jerry Springer-style catfights this time around. “With aging you learn. This time around, I know myself in a way that I couldn’t possibly have in my 20s. So the show is really a reflection of the everywoman trying to figure it all out.”
As for Jeff Probst’s new talker, “The overall idea is saying yes to the adventures in your life,” he says. “And I don’t mean climbing a mountain. I mean being married, being a parent, dating, friendships. It’s the courage to kiss somebody before you are ready, or move across the country for a new job, home, school. At the end of a life, this really is what defines our life — those adventures.” Each episode will feature an “Ambush Adventure,” during which Jeff challenges an audience member to step outside their comfort zone to confront an issue in their life. There will also be a “Guys On The Couch” segment, where two male audience members come onstage and answer relationship questions from women in the audience
However, Soap Opera Digest columnist and author, Carolyn Hinsey warns Yahoo! TV to take note that the new influx of talk shows will have a big mountain climb! “The networks are being very shortsighted in canceling 40-plus year old soap operas for what have already proven to be lame talk shows like ABC’s The Revolution. There is no brand loyalty to a talk show, no reason to tune in, or DVR every day.” As far as talk shows being less expensive, “Published reports say that Katie Couric’s new show will cost $80 million, which is double the annual cost of any soap opera,” she says. And the talk shows replacing soaps haven’t exactly impressed in the ratings department. “Couric’s talk show will take the place in the ABC lineup of the failed Revolution! “Well, One Life To Live went off the air in January averaging over 3 million viewers, so Couric will need to score 6 million for her show to match that — both financially and in the ratings. Good luck.”
OK soapers sound off! Do any of these new talk shows appeal to you? Which one do you think stands the best chance at succeeding, if any? Do you think there is hope that after all this is said and done, and if these shows fail, that soaps could stand a chance at a comeback?