The field of daytime talk is about to get more crowded when CBS’ The Talk premieres Monday, replacing long-running soap As the World Turns. If you ask Talk Executive Producer Brad Bessey (who we profiled in this week’s issue), he’ll tell you he doesn’t see the show in competition with ABC’s The View, although both share the concept of a cast of female hosts chatting it up on a couch.
“The Talk is all about commonality,” Bessey says – a point that can be missing from the highly opinionated hosts of The View, as evidenced by Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walking off the set over a disagreement with guest Bill O’Reilly last Thursday. “Our hosts are all mothers, and even though they have very strong opinions about just about everything, we look to explore the issues that we all care about,” he adds. “It’s not about dividing the issues and having a debate, it’s about expressing how we really feel about what’s going on in the world and how it affects our families.”
So is there room in daytime TV for another View-formatted show? “Absolutely. If people had said in 1986 ‘Phil Donahue’s doing a single host issue-oriented talk show, we can’t have another,’ then Oprah Winfrey would have never been on the air,” Bessey says. “So I don’t see The Talk and The View as competition, I see them as very distinct shows and both have a different thing we want to say on television.”
The View will be milking the Bill O’Reilly spat on Monday’s episode, with the co-hosts weighing in on the standoff for the first time. The Talk’s inaugural guest will be supermodel Christie Brinkley. The two shows are not in head-to-head timeslot competition, however – The View airs live on the east coast at 11 a.m., while The Talk, taping in L.A., goes live at 2 p.m. ET.