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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