It’s official, Oprah Winfrey will be calling it quits on her regular daily talk show come September 2011. For years, people have speculated just when she’d give up her daytime chat fest, and now the next big question is – Who can replace her?
Nobody can truly replace our big O, since Winfrey not only has big ratings shoes to fill, but she’s arguably the most original and personable talking head in TV history. Still, the vacant void of a hit show beckons a talented women to at least try.
Here are my picks for serious contenders to replace Oprah – or at least give it their best shot.
Former fashion model turned talk show host, Banks not only has experience and popularity, but she’s got the youth factor.
Oprah certainly isn’t old, but her audience along with the talk queen is getting up there. That younger prime demographic – the golden age for advertisers and marketers – usually flocks to the younger talk hosts. Banks has come under criticism for doing a few gimmicky shows where she wanders the streets of a big city in a fat suit disguise or when she had models wear blackface, however she’s comfortable interviewing guests and has a spark that just may earn her that coveted Oprah audience. She also created and hosts the hit TV show America’s Top Model, so she’s a savvy media mogul like Oprah already. Tyra even rhymes with Oprah!
Yes, Rosie may have had a classic meltdown on air with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View, and she’s said some nasty things about her former co-workers on that show, including her boss the powerful Barbara Walters, but Rosie is still a talk titan in her own right.
Rosie’s solo chat fest made her a household name, and there are still more than a few fans around who fondly remember those days. She’s become a firebrand of political talk now, and has the habit of getting into celebrity feuds, however Rosie could reclaim her talk crown and rule the ratings once more.
Laugh or scoff all you want, but when Oprah interviewed Sarah she brought up the topic. Sarah coyly deflected the question, but who can say what she’s thinking?
Palin continues to do a press tour for her fantastically successful book – ‘Sarah Palin: Going Rogue’ and Sean Hannity, Barbara Walters, Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller have also interviewed her, to name just a few of the bigger media names helping her sell her book.
Katie Couric is no stranger to light talk and entertainment. As co-host with Bryant Gumbel and then Matt Lauer on The Today Show for fifteen years, she’s a veteran of going from softball puff celebrity spotlights, to tough political talks with heads of state, or even Vice-Presidential nominees. Couric and Palin butted heads on the campaign trail of 2008, and in Palin’s book she characterized Couric’s behavior has perky, annoying and badgering. Imagine if both Palin and Couric both tried to be the next Oprah – there would be another TV clash to make headlines!
Life on a D list can’t all be fun. It’s time that Kathy Griffin really got some respect, and funneled it into her own talk show.
Griffin is a natural communicator, gifted comedian and all around perky pop personality. Her Bravo TV show Kathie Griffin: My Life On The D-List is a big hit, however nothing lasts forever. She made no pretense that she coveted the spots vacated by Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones on ABC’s The View. If Griffin landed her own Oprah-esque chatter party, one thing’s for certain, it would be pretty darned funny.