Remember when talk shows were all about controversy? The days of Phil Donahue gave viewers an inside look of what they thought was really going on inside of American homes. Then a woman named Oprah hit the scene. Then Americans found reality television to escape their lives and discover that they are just like everyone else. Eating bugs, marrying strangers for money, and following Dance Moms" are all fine forms of entertainment, but women still love to do one thing- talk!
Queen Latifah hits CBS this fall with an all new talk show. Latifah had a daytime talk show for 2 seasons over 10 years ago. The former show was focused on a bit more drama. Now, Latifiah seems to be taking the Ellen approach while adding her own flair. She will focus on comedy, music, and fun. Unlike Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Latifah's show is looking to target using the star's own talents. This brings about the same problem as shows like The Chew- the audience is too targeted. Not everyone is automatically a fan, you have to hope that they will jump on a growing bandwagon. Ellen, while being the exception to the former "rules," has become the rule. Let's see if the team at Sony (which includes Will and Jada Pinkett Smith), is able to craft the Queen into a "queen" of daytime.
Last fall, the airwaves were graced with many talk show hopefuls and returning faces. Katie Couric, Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst, and Steve Harvey- to name a few- talked the talk with little to no success at capturing viewers. Aside from the dozens of choices that are placed on the guide causing competition on the daytime circuit, what exactly is in a hit show?
Somehow, Judge Judy and Dr. Phil are still leading daytime ratings. Why? People love pointless drama! Judge Judy features some of America's finest idiots, while Ellen DeGeneres is spreading the positive and reeling in viewers with their hopes of winning money and prizes. It's basic psychology to know that bribery only works for so long with children, and it's exactly the same with adults.
One of the reasons Oprah Winfrey was so successful on daytime was that even while being one of the wealthiest people in America (which didn't happen overnight), people could relate to her. Whether you enjoyed Oprah's topic of the day or not, she was a comfort in living rooms everywhere for twenty five years. Oprah's regime can never be replaced exactly, but plenty of people are trying to replace her position in the ratings. This competitive market with extremely targeted audiences has brought about a whole new sort of daytime ballgame, and it's exciting to see where it's headed.