Ricki Lake Versus Katie Couric
Daytime vets to vie for viewers in former 'Oprah Winfrey Show' timeslot
Enjoy your summers Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Wendy Williams, Dr. Oz and the ladies of "The View" and "The Talk," because Sept. 10 is shaping up to be a big day in daytime TV. Katie Couric, Ricki Lake, Steve Harvey and "Survivor" host Jeff Probst will launch their new talk shows that Monday, with Trisha Goddard and Marie Osmond also set to premiere this fall.
The onslaught of new talkers may shake up the whole landscape, but the biggest daytime battle this fall will be between Couric and Lake, who will take on Oprah Winfrey’s vacated spot in the daytime line up. Syndication means the shows may air at any time chosen by local affiliates, but both are hitting that hallowed 3 p.m. timeslot as much as possible, which is also where "Anderson"and "Dr. Oz" air in many markets.
Couric and Lake are well known in the daytime scene, but are also trying to rebrand a bit before they launch. Put simply, they’re each offering to be your new daytime girlfriend, in their own way, and hope to fill “The Oprah Winfrey Show” void.
Morning anchor turned primetime newswoman Couric is looking to combine her news chops with her charm for her daytime return. She is building steam by popping up around ABC with feel good pieces like her jaunt with the royals, "The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric" She also spent a week co-hosting "GMA" and will likely visit the new spin off, “GAA,” this summer. She’s also making the rounds as a guest on daytime talkers like “The Wendy Williams Show” and launched her own a weekly mini program on Yahoo.
Couric's new show promises big interviews and will be, “somewhat elevated, without being too PBS-y,” Couric said at the May 29 Canadian Upfronts. "I don’t think I’m going to have Snooki on my show, but it’s not going to be Masterpiece Theatre either."
Newly married mom of two Lake, meanwhile, is efforting to show daytime fans she’s grown up since her last stint in daytime (1993-2004). “The Ricki Lake Show” isn’t going to get too sensational or ask, “Who’s the daddy?” Instead, the “Dancing with the Stars” alum is looking back to the early days of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for inspiration and wants her new show to feel like a conversation with the audience.
Since Lake lacks a network promotion machine like Couric's, she has focused on parlaying her "DWTS" online following into a strong web presence for “The Ricki Lake Show.” She’s even letting fans get involved in creating her new talker by inviting them to monthly production meetings, via her Ustream page. The next meeting is Thursday, May 31, 7 p.m., ET.
“It’ll be interesting,” Lake said of the upcoming battle for viewers at the May 30 Canadian Upfronts. “I don’t know how we’ll fit in. These shows are personality driven, and Katie’s going to do a great, hard-hitting interview (show). I can’t wait to see it. But that’s not my style. I’m sort of more the girlfriend, the Everywoman . . . people think of me as one of their relatives… I think there’s enough audience for everyone.”
The New GuysThe guys coming to daytime Sept. 10 also have strong brands, but Steve Harvey and Jeff Probst are new to daytime TV scene.
“Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” scribe Harvey has found success on morning radio, in print, on a TV game show and on the big screen. The comedian is clearly a formidable opponent who already has a strong fan-following. Not only can Harvey promote himself via his own radio show, but with so many ventures, he’s often making the rounds to promote something, which provides more opportunities to promote his upcoming talker.
Probst, meanwhile, is best known for leading the conversation on “Survivor.” He’s great at asking the contestants probing questions, but his brand has been almost entirely connected with the reality show. He's dipped his feet in as a "Live! With Kelly" guest hosts and since he's new to daytime, staffed his show with daytime vets. He’s executive producing with former “The Oprah Winfrey Show” supervising producer Amy Coleman and their team roster features players from "The Rosie Show," "Rachael Ray,” "Dr. Phil” and "The Dr. Oz Show.”
Like Lake, Probst is trying to get fans involved before the launch. “Very exciting to have your name in the title of a show - Also nerve-wracking,” Probst admitted in his website video (above). “We want it to be fun, we want it to be entertaining, we want it to be something you want to come watch, so I want your feedback… Don’t hold back. Let me know what you like, what you don’t like, what you hope you never see again and then we’ll try to build this show together.”
Stay tuned for more on these shows, as well as Trisha Goddard’s and Marie Osmond’s upcoming talkers.
"Newly married mom of two Lake, meanwhile, is efforting to show daytime fans..."
Effort is a noun and cannot be used as a verb.