MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz


Host opens up about her big return to daytime, her competitors and 'Dancing'

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Aug 29, 2012 12:05PM
Ricki Lake is returning to daytime after eight years away from the talk show scene. MSN TV went straight to the source to find out what to expect when "The Ricki Lake Show" premieres Monday, Sept. 10.


Bing: More about Ricki Lake


In an effort to get fans involved before her new talk show even launches, Ricki Lake has been inviting all Friends of Ricki to her production meetings (the next one is Thursday, Sept. 6, at 3 p.m. ET and 12 p.m. PT via Ustream) and local MeetUps. She's also been dropping videos via YouTube that share moments like her experience in an anti gravity yoga class and her sons recording her show's new theme song. With promos touting the message, "I have the same questions as you," she's also been getting fans involved by asking some of those questions on Facebook and Twitter


Plus: Fall TV's familiar faces | Fall TV premiere dates


In short, Lake hasn't kept her plans or energy under wraps, but MSN TV delved deeper into what she'd like to see for her new show, how it will compare to her often sensational '90s run in daytime, whether she's nervous about competing with Katie CouricSteve Harvey and Jeff Probst, and how "Dancing With the Stars" helped her get back to daytime.


MSN TV: "Dancing With the Stars" has been a comeback vehicle for so many stars. Did you join the competition to wake up your old fanbase and rebuild an audience for your premiere?


Ricki Lake: Anytime you have the audience once a week in the number one demo, it certainly gives you power. For me, it was really about selling the show. We needed to clear a certain amount of the country. But obviously I also wanted to connect with the audience and I'm hoping when we start the show, the audience that liked me on "Dancing With the Stars" is going to tune in and check out the show.

How did you feel when you realized you'd be launching your show in such a crowded market?


Well, I'm a pretty competitive person. I'm like, "Bring it on!" I'm a fan of everyone that has a show coming out this year. I'm very curious to see what Katie [Couric] is going to do, and Steve Harvey. He makes me laugh. And Jeff Probst, I've been following since Season 1 of "Survivor." Yes, there's a lot of competition right now, but I think we are just focused on doing the best show that we can for the audience that grew up with watching me, and then some.


In addition to having history in daytime, you are the only new host this season who is actually in the coveted daytime ratings demographic, which gives you an edge. But how concerned are you about bridging the gap with a younger audience that gets its entertainment and news in such a different way than the traditional daytime audience?


When you do a topic that everyone can relate to, it will keep people interested. Relationships, love, weight, makeovers and all those things, they span generations. The grandmother can relate, and the granddaughter can relate. But it's going to be interesting this year. This is all new for me as well -- the technology that exist now, the immediacy and the short attention span of the viewer. It's going to be trial and error. I'm just going to do what I do -- which is be true to myself, have a natural curiosity about people, humanity and behavior, and be candid about my own life and experiences.


You've been very open about your struggle with weight. Is daytime a good fit for a host who doesn't always like his or her weight?


Oprah [Winfrey], I really related to her and her weight battle. It made us feel like she was one of us. I think it makes me that much more relatable. Like it or not, I'm someone who struggles with wanting to look young and be a size whatever. I don't want to be a hypocrite. There days when I feel really good about myself and there's days when I wish I could change some things. It's about trying to reach a place with being happy where we are today. It's such a tricky thing, because I don't want to perpetuate this obsession that we have, but I also can't help but be human. It's going to be my thorn in my side forever, but for the most part, I'm a success story. To be in size 28 jeans? I definitely know I'm not fat, but I also know I still want to go further. 


What are some of the topics you have on "The Ricki Lake Show" schedule or wish list?


We're having a 41-year-old virgin, and she's on my staff! The idea that someone in their forties hasn't had sex: Who is that person? I'm fascinated. I can't imagine not having that in my life. I haven't talk to her about it yet, because I want to have it be a spontaneous and authentic as possible.


Losing a child ... And gun control is a huge issue that I'd love to talk about, from the standpoint of a mother. We're planning to do an hour on my movie, "The Business of Being Born." I would love to do an hour on the breast-feeding debate and on circumcision. Germany, Santa Monica and San Francisco have wanted to ban circumcision. It's a topic everyone can relate to. It's provocative. It applies to all of us if the laws are being changed [about] what we are allowed to do to our bodies or our children's bodies. It's worth talking about. I'm curious and passionate about a lot of women's issues that I want to talk about.


And when you have an opinion, are we going to hear it?


What do you think? I don't hold back, but I'm not about instilling my view on everyone. I want it to be an inclusive environment, for everyone to have an opinion and be heard.

Going back to the word "provocative." How will this talk show be different than your last run in daytime?


Before it might have been a lot more crazy, with DNA tests and all that. We had a formula. It's about aging it up a little bit. It's about doing stuff with a little more substance. Still a little fluff, but more substance.


Are there any topics that are off limits?


No, but I'm going to be very careful about- ... I'm certainly going to be open book, but keeping in mind that I have a 15-year-old whose friends might see it. It's just being conscious of my son's privacy, to a certain extent. But anything and everything can be discussed if we treat it with respect. One thing I pride myself in doing 2100 hours of television with my old show, I always treated everyone on my stage like they were part of my family and came with respect. Everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard.


"The Ricki Lake Show" premieres Monday, Sept. 10, in syndication. 


Are Sarah and Hank getting back together?

By MSN TV Partner Fri 10:51 AM
In this sneak peek of the "Parenthood" season finale, Hank (Ray Romano) impresses Amber (Mae Whitman) and Sarah (Lauren Graham) with his Hank-like concern as they deal with Ryan's hospitalization.

Watch it first on MSN TV:

This clip, along with the promo clip NBC showed for next week's episode, hints at a reunion for Sarah and Hank. Are you rooting for the couple? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The season finale of "Parenthood" airs Thursday April 17 at 10PM ET/PT on NBC.

Get a glimpse of Marsden’s character in the animated show starring Jack McBrayer

By MSN TV Partner Mar 25, 2014 10:04AM

In a new episode premiering March 31, James Marsden will guest start on Disney XD’s “Wander Over Yonder”.

Marsden reunites with "30 Rock" co-star Jack McBrayer in this episode where the hero Sir Brad Starlight (Marsden) enlists Wander (McBrayer) as his goofy sidekick and Sylvia as his noble steed on his quest to save Princess Demurra from the evil Dragon King, King Draykor.

See this pic first on MSN TV: Wander is ecstatic to fulfill his fairytale dream of rescuing a princess, but Sir Brad Starlight is not interested in sharing the spotlight and reminds Wander at every turn that there's only room for one hero.

“Wander Over Yonder” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD


Kim Kardashian, Wendy Williams hear what regular folk really think about them

By MSN TV Partner Mar 18, 2014 9:18AM
In the the new series from Oxygen, "Celebrities Undercover" will feature two celebrities concealing their true identity with the use of prosthetic make-up to find out what unsuspecting fans and friends really think of them without the distraction of their famous personas.

The season premiere will feature Kim Kardashian, and executive producer Wendy Williams will get a taste of her own medicine as well. In this clip watch Kim K. undergo an impressive make-up overhaul in prep for undercover work: going to a group job interview as a Kardashian fan hoping to become her own new assistant. 

Watch the video:

Other stars features this season include T-Pain, Fantasia, Joey Fatone, Lil’ Kim, Chili, Anthony Anderson, Jaleel White, Adrienne Bailon, Ice-T and Coco.

"Celebrities Undercover" premieres March 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.


Host Justin Willman and Disney stars dish on the new show and offer up advice

By MSN TV Partner Mar 14, 2014 11:15AM

(Disney's Win, Lose or Draw /Adam Taylor, Disney Channel)By Minh Nguyen

It didn’t take long for memories of the original “Win, Lose or Draw” game show to come flooding back as soon as we stepped foot on the set of Disney’s resurrected show of the same name.  Gone was the ‘80s living room set, replaced with bright vibrant colors, fun props and technology everywhere. Host Justin Willman (“Cupcake Wars”) commanded the stage as Disney stars Dove Cameron and Joey Bragg from “Liv and Maddie” battled it out against each other with their teammates.

The premise is pretty simple: two teams of three players (with the Disney stars on each side) compete in drawing contests to win prizes. Thrown into the mix are special challenges (like Shake, Rattle and Draw; Sit and Spin; The Wand) that take advantage of oversized props and fun gadgets. This season will also feature stars from Disney shows "Kickin' It," "Lab Rats," "I Didn't Do It,"  "Austin & Ally," "Jessie," "Dog With a Blog" and "Mighty Med" as well as stars from "Teen Beach Movie."

Over lunch, we were able to speak to Willman, Cameron and Bragg.

For people that aren’t familiar with the original game, how are you describing this to them?

Willman: The simple idea is just that it’s drawing Charades. You get your teammates to guess what you’re drawing. We have a team of writers who write these clues, and the words that they have to draw are so clever.

It's super high-tech, so the old original version was more markers on pads of paper, which was great at the time but here they have these massive touch screens and tons of software they designed just for the games that’s completely interactive.

Contestants have to do a bunch of crazy challenges in round two. Like drawing with a helmet on, where they can’t see anything or drawing with a unicorn stylus and that makes it way tougher but also much more entertaining to watch.

How are you enjoying being a part of the show?

Willman: As a live performer, I’m used to having that instant gratification of a live audience and this feels a lot like that. We’ve got 150 screaming kids, who are having the time of their lives just being there. It’s great because the jokes get instant payback. The excitement, I feed off of it. Even if it’s first thing in the morning, I don’t even need to have my coffee. As soon as that crowd starts to roar, I’m ready to go. It’s a blast.

Bragg: I like the rapid round. I can’t remember what it’s called. Where there’s one person drawing, and two people guessing, then we just switch.

Cameron:  I think the best part for me has actually been, (I know this sounds like such a canned answer), but has been getting to meet these kids. There was this great moment where, it was at the end of the first round when they all kind of flooded in and they hugged us. And some of them were crying, and I wanted to cry. We didn’t realize the gravity of how huge this really is, and “Win, Lose, or Draw” has been great that way. We’ve gotten to interact with a lot of kids.

Justin, what’s the best advice you ever received?

Willman: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

Dove and Joey, you guys seem really polished. What kind of advice do you have for kids that get stage fright?

Bragg: Well, I was doing stand-up comedy, and I don’t mean to be that guy, but it’s one of the hardest things to go up there and say stuff that you’ve written. You don’t have music backing you. I wanted to do something that I’m going to remember. And I think a lot of that is “I’m going to embarrass myself,” but you’re never going to see those people that are watching you ever again. Just do it!

Cameron: I always had a fear of cameras because I grew up on stage. Most things in life are one of those things where once you try it, you realize how OK it is. I just don’t take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways. So, yeah. Just have fun. Do what you please.

“Disney’s Win, Lose or Draw” airs Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.


She still lives with her parents!

By MSN TV Partner Mar 13, 2014 10:55AM
Later this month, "Extra" host Maria Menounos will premiere her new reality show. "Chasing Maria Menounos" will give fans a peek into her life, including living with her longtime boyfriend and her immigrant parents.

In this interview with Oxygen's On-Air Personality Susie Castillo, Menounos reveals more about her upbringing and what to expect on her new series. Watch this first on MSN TV:

"Chasing Maria Menounos" premieres March 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.

Princess Aslaug brings surprise and intrigue to this scripted drama

By MSN TV Partner Mar 13, 2014 10:17AM
Season 2 of History's "Vikings" is underway. Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) revealed she was carrying Ragnar's (Travis Fimmel) child, sending rippling effects into his kingdom. In this video extra, Sutherland talks more about her character and how filming went the second time around.

"Vikings" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

"It's not a good day, Mad Max"

By MSN TV Partner Mar 12, 2014 9:56AM

In this "Parenthood" clip, Max (Max Burkholder) wrecks havoc for Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Hank (Ray Romano) when he barges into the studio, interrupting their workflow.

Watch this clip, first on MSN TV:

Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

The classic game show has been upgraded with newer technology

By MSN TV Partner Mar 3, 2014 11:36AM

Who remembers the celebrity game show, "Win, Lose or Draw"? Disney Channel has recreated a kids version of it, premiering Monday, March 3. (The show will air Mondays through Thursdays).


On "Disney's Win, Lose or Draw" Disney Channel and Disney XD stars team up with kid contestants to compete and win prizes in a battle of drawing skills, creativity and wits. Justin Willman hosts the contemporary version of the popular game show, which also features new technology such as motion-control illustration, interactive multi-touch screen displays and other fun challenges.


Watch a clip:

 "Disney’' Win, Lose or Draw" premieres Monday, March 3, at 5 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.