Everybody's Talkin'

Daytime veterans mobilize for onslaught of newbies this fall

This fall, all the talk in syndication is about new talk: Katie Couric, Steve Harvey, Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst and Trisha Goddard. With five new talk shows on the daytime TV slate, the old guard is going to have to bring it to keep viewers’ attention.

Judging by what the veterans have planned, daytime this fall will be anything but sleepy.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, coming off a 10th season that saw the show lead the talk pack with rejuvenated ratings, plans to stick with what’s worked in season 11, which launches Sept. 10.

“We’re coming out of the gate with what we do best,” says Carla Pennington, Dr. Phil executive producer. “We’ll look at stories you’ve read about in the news over the past year and offer exclusive angles on them. We’ll continue to take the viewer behind the headlines without straying from what have been our staple topics,” like relationships, domestic abuse and addiction.

Pennington is not worried about this season’s stiff new competition. “Despite the clutter, no one does what Phil can do,” she says.

Sony’s Dr. Oz, which after inheriting Oprah’s former time slots in many markets also had a strong season last year, aims to build on the fan base it acquired with its “Transformation Nation: Million-Dollar You” challenge. Show host Dr. Mehmet Oz says the show will go “deeper into issues of motivation and the emotional drivers behind change.”

“I want to slow down the information that’s coming out of the fire hose so people can really start to implement these ideas,” he says.

For his Sept. 10 season kickoff, Oz took 50 women who have “baggage”—literally and figuratively— on a surprise trip to the Miraval Spa in Tucson, Ariz., to work on their emotional issues. In one case, Dr. Oz and a guest both faced their fear of heights by climbing a pole together and jumping off—while attached to harnesses and bungee cords, of course.

Disney-ABC Television’s Live! With Kelly is expected to name Fox NFL commentator Michael Strahan as permanent partner to host Kelly Ripa, who has been working with guest hosts since Regis Philbin departed the show last November.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen is an “evolving combination of comedy and kindness,” says Ed Glavin, one of the show’s executive producers, along with host Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner. Throughout season 10, also premiering on Sept. 10, DeGeneres will honor people who help others in need, including a group from Denver that came together to rescue an injured German Shepherd abandoned on a mountain, and Richard Henegar, Jr., from Roanoke, Va., who repaired Jordan Addison’s car for free after it was covered in homophobic slurs.

Ellen is also bringing back fan-favorite little correspondents Sophia Grace, 8, and Rosie, 5; they will host tea parties with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Reese Witherspoon, Julie Bowen and Justin Bieber and serve as redcarpet correspondents for the MTV Video Music Awards.

And DeGeneres will continue doing what she does best: making people laugh. “We’ve got some outrageous new comedy planned,” Glavin says.

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