As soap operas continue to decline, broadcast networks are casting their nets wide to see what might take their place.
According to the New York Post’s Page Six, CBS is developing a talk show starring Julie Chen, host of CBS’ Early Show and Big Brother and wife of CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. The show would be a panel format, much like ABC’s The View, but focused on mom-oriented issues. Other names under consideration are Roseanne star Sara Gilbert, Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel and occasional Access Hollywood correspondent Lisa Rinna. The projects sounds much like Warner Bros.’ MomLogic, which the syndicator couldn’t get cleared for fall.
CBS will have a hole to fill on its daytime schedule come fall, when As the World Turns ends its 54-year run. This fall, the network replaced soap opera Guiding Light with a remake of Let’s Make a Deal, starring Wayne Brady, and it’s having enough success with that relatively inexpensive format that another game show is another strong possibility.
Over at ABC, a daytime talk show starring Tori Spelling, of 90210 and Oxygen’s Tori & Dean, is under consideration, reports the LA Times’ Company Town blog. That show, however, is in very early stages of development. If it becomes a series, it could air on the network, in syndication, or even on cable.
ABC owned stations and many ABC affiliates also have a hole to fill in daytime when Oprah Winfrey ends her talk show in fall 2011. However, many ABC stations in top markets already have indicated they plan to fill that slot by expanding their local newscasts. Currently, ABC network has no open space, airing three soaps – General Hospital, One Life to Live and All My Children – as well as The View, a show that the network is reportedly considering moving to the important 4 p.m. slot as a local news lead-in or possibly handing over to syndication.