IS THE VIEWER THERE?\'Donahue' may follow talk rookies as next casualty in shock backlash.Byline: Frederic M. Biddle Boston Globe
After it's all over, Oprah Winfrey “Oprah” redirects here. For the show, see The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is the American multiple-Emmy Award winning host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated talk show in television history. might consider a show titled "Washed-Up Daytime Talk Hosts." And perhaps soon. In a fall from grace approaching that of quiz shows after their 1950s scandals, TV seems to be pulling the plug on the genre of salacious sa·la·cious
1. Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire; lascivious.
2. Lustful; bawdy.
[From Latin sal daytime talk shows.
Just four months ago, nearly two dozen daytime talk shows - half of them new - vied with one another for ratings, shock value and the potential to make tens of millions of dollars a year for their syndicators. But in October, they unexpectedly became targets in the nation's ongoing culture wars, as former Education Secretary William Bennett
William John Bennett (born July 31, 1943) is a American conservative pundit and politician. He served as United States Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. called the shows "cultural rot" and drew up an advertisers' hit list of shows he said were morally objectionable.
But "ratings are far more powerful than politicians," as talk show host Mark Walberg says. Four daytime talk shows have been canceled in the past month, "Gabrielle" and "Charles Perez Charles Perez (b.1964) is an American television news reporter and anchor. It was announced in August 2006 that Perez would be leaving WABC-TV to take a weekend anchor position at WPLG-TV in Miami. Perez had two years remaining on his four-year contract with WABC-TV. " this week alone, amid the political controversy, the exit of such crucial sponsors as Procter & Gamble and - most of all - minuscule viewership.
And survivors are evolving fast. Geraldo Rivera “Geraldo” redirects here. For the British bandleader, see Geraldo (bandleader).
For the talk show, see .
Gerald Michael Rivera (born July 4, 1943), known by his TV name Geraldo Rivera or simply Geraldo had already begun to leverage his way out of the genre with a prime-time legal-affairs show on CNBC CNBC Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (artificial intelligence)
CNBC Consumer News and Business Channel
CNBC Congress of National Black Churches, Inc. that won critical praise for its analysis of the O.J. Simpson trial. He has announced that he would rename "Geraldo," his daytime show, "The Geraldo Rivera Show" and refocus it on hard-news issues. "We must end the endless cycle of blame and announced reform or sputtering A popular method for adhering thin films onto a substrate. Sputtering is done by bombarding a target material with a charged gas (typically argon) which releases atoms in the target that coats the nearby substrate. It all takes place inside a magnetron vacuum chamber under low pressure. denial," he said in a statement. "The alternative is that we will be regulated or slandered out of existence."
Meanwhile, host Montel Williams Montel Brian Anthony Williams (born July 3, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American television talk show host. Military career
Williams enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1974 and completed his recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. , who hasn't announced plans to end his talk show, is nevertheless hedging his future by signing on as the star of "Matt Waters Matt Waters is an American drama television show which aired in 1996 on CBS. The program starred talk show host Montel Williams. Williams played a retired naval officer who becomes a high school teacher. ," a prime-time drama that premiered Wednesday night on CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. .
And in what may be the most telling sign of the end of the heyday of the talk show, TV industry observers expect Phil Donahue Phillip John Donahue (born December 21, 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American media personality and writer, best known as the creator and star of The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue, the first tabloid talk show. The show had a 26-year run on national (U. to announce, possibly this week, that he will go off the air at the end of this season, 29 years after he pioneered the modern daytime talk show on a Dayton, Ohio, station. Multimedia Entertainment, which syndicates the show, declined to comment.
Ironically, Donahue's imminent departure from the field results not from criticism, but from ratings that have been drained by such rivals as "The Ricki Lake Show," whose youthful host two years ago lifted talk shows into a TV phenomenon by siphoning away 18- to 34-year-old viewers from stalwarts like "Donahue," "Geraldo" and ratings champ "The Oprah Winfrey Show." That in turn led to last fall's explosion of shows such as "Carnie" and "Danny!" that sought the same viewer demographic.
"The audience has voted, and the audience has rejected all the new shows in terms of being a Ricki clone or a Ricki wannabe," said Dick Kurlander, vice president and director of programming for industry consultants Petry Television.
In fact, Kurlander predicts that "possibly two, but probably no more than one" show will survive out of all the ones that debuted last fall. "The hope was that they were going to take a $6 million or $7 million loss for the possibility of $40 million a year at the end of the rainbow end of the rainbow
the unreachable end of the earth. [Western Folklore: Misc.]
See : Remoteness ."
But too many shows made talk too cheap, even for TV. "When we started back in September, the idea was to do a show that looked and felt like the shows that were getting the ratings, do it well and eventually move on to topics that were more substantive," said Walberg. His own show featured guests who sometimes ended up in on-air fisticuffs - the ultimate talk-show shock moment, pioneered by Geraldo Rivera. Thursday Walberg held a telephone press conference to announce the reorientation Noun 1. reorientation - a fresh orientation; a changed set of attitudes and beliefs
orientation - an integrated set of attitudes and beliefs
2. reorientation - the act of changing the direction in which something is oriented of his show toward such issues as HMO HMO health maintenance organization.
A corporation that is financed by insurance premiums and has member physicians and professional staff who provide curative and preventive medicine within certain financial, negligence and child kidnapping.
The criticism by Bennett magnified the problems of ratings and taste. A much-publicized "talk-show summit" followed, with producers of a few of the shows meeting in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of to discuss ways to clean up the shows lest lawmakers try to make good on their barely veiled threats of censorship. Even so, stations in small cities such as Colorado Springs and Fresno dumped shows like "Carnie" and "Jenny Jones," citing viewer complaints.
A lot of viewers who weren't complaining weren't watching, either: None of the new talk shows drew viewership of more than 2 percent of the TV audience. "Carnie," the highest-rated of them, was the first to be canceled. Although some established talk shows such as "Jenny Jones" got by for years on small audiences before catching on big, talk shows this season were scheduled in choicer time slots, with higher expectations. Channel 25 in Boston, for example, organized a five-hour daytime talk block around such shows as "Carnie," as an alternative to newscasts and soap operas on the three network channels. But by and large, they failed.
Even "Ricki Lake," the No. 2-rated talk show going into this season, was pushed into crucial 4 and 5 p.m. time slots nationwide - only to lose 25 percent of the audience of the shows it replaced, according to Petry Television.
To be sure, "Ricki Lake" and a core of other talk shows that have been on the air for at least two seasons haven't really changed. On the recent "Out of Control Kids" episode of "Sally Jessy Raphael Sally Jessy Raphael (born Sally Lowenthal on February 25 1935 in Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S.) is an American talk show host. Early years
Raphael was born in Easton, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. ," a father shrieked shriek
1. A shrill, often frantic cry.
2. A sound suggestive of such a cry.
v. shrieked, shriek·ing, shrieks
1. To utter a shriek.
2. at his daughter, who had a black eye that she indicated dad had given her. A "Gordon Elliott" audience howled earlier this week as a guest named Joseph boasted that he likes big women "because I have personally been known to put 125-pound women in the hospital because they couldn't stand the pressure" of strenuous lovemaking love·mak·ing
1. Sexual activity, especially sexual intercourse.
2. Courtship; wooing.
But just as many shows that haven't been canceled are, like Walberg's, following in the footsteps not of Ricki Lake or Sally Jessy but of Oprah Winfrey.Winfrey has been most vocal about her show's recent reorientation from sensational topics to ah mix of self-help, celebrity interviews and occasional news issues. Although Winfrey's ratings have sagged by more than 25 percent from the early '90s, when she drew well over 10 million TV households daily, her show remains by far the most-watched daytime talk show - and, with a recent two-year renewal commitment, one of the most stable.
Other hosts seem to be following her lead. Montel Williams, who once reveled in deadpan ambushes of guests by spouses who revealed infidelities and other sins on national television, on Wednesday aired an interview with Deputy Education Secretary Madeline Kunin on the state of American schooling.
Syndicators are pitching an array of new self-help and celebrity-variety shows, with hosts ranging from Rosie O'Donnell to Tammy Faye Bakker. The new model isn't Ricki Lake, but "Oprah," "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee" and the old "Mike Douglas Show."
"Now there's a pendulum swinging the other way, back to '70s-style talk shows," said Brandon Tartikoff, chairman of New World Entertainment and NBC's former prime-time chief. "But I see no evidence that there's an appetite for that," he added, citing the cancellations of shows by Suzanne Somers and Marilu Henner that tried the strategy last season.
Photo (1) The "Charles Perez" show was canceled this week. (2) The still-successful Oprah Winfrey continues to provide inspiration for talk hosts who want to take the high road. (3) With shock-based daytime talk shows unable to pull in big ratings, syndicators are modeling their new offerings on tamer shows such as "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee."