BC Beat

ABC developing yet another daytime talk panel

8/25/2010 05:16:32 PM

Apparently what everyone thinks daytime TV needs is more shows so chock full of hosts that no one can get a word in edgewise.

ABC has been airing The View in daytime since 1997, and the show turns in highly respectable ratings, especially considering the state of daytime TV. Now, with Oprah departing and soap operas in decline, networks are looking for new programs to put on the air. The answer increasingly seems to be to put a bunch of chatty Cathys on the couch and let the cameras roll.

The New York Daily News today reported that Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, creators of The View, have a new daytime co-ed panel show in development that would include both the male and female perspective. I assume this is because women are interested in what men think, not because ABC thinks any men will be watching this show, because they won’t be.  (If you are a man who watches daytime talk shows – and I’m sure you exist but I have never met you – then please forgive me.)

The show would be targeted for afternoons, so it could feasibly occupy some of those late afternoon Oprah slots, which are becoming increasingly less available as stations set their plans, and it wouldn’t compete with The View, which airs in the late morning.

According to the Daily News, former Today show host Bryant Gumbel is Walters and Geddie’s top choice to serve as the show’s moderator. Looking at the entire wish-list, the developers are leaning toward a multi-cultural cast: Filipino-American comedia Alec Mapa, who appeared on ABC’s Ugly Betty, is the other man under consideration, while former BET anchor Jacque Reid and former Fox News host E.D. Hill are the women. Mapa, Reid and Hill all have appeared previously on The View and turned in performances that impressed the show’s producers. The Daily News did not have a name for the fifth slot.

Unsurprisingly, ABC had no comment.

CBS is launching its own panel show this October: The Talk, featuring Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Marisa Jaret Winokur and Leah Remini. The Talk will take on topics from a mom’s point of view, and all the women on the panel are mothers.

Warner Bros. was shopping around a similar show last year called MomLogic, a spin-off of the company’s Web site by the same title, but the difficult economy eventually tanked the sale.

Producers seem to think that more is more when it comes to daytime. We’ll see if they’re right.

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