What are you doing on weekday afternoons this fall? Because Katie Couric, Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst, and several other celebrities would like to make a regular date with you (or your DVR) at that time. They're all debuting new daytime talks shows that feature other bold-faced names, as well as non-famous extraordinary people, people who need advice, or, in one case, people who need a lie detector test.
The most high profile is former "CBS Evening News" anchor Couric, 55, who seems poised to be the next Oprah — if her show is successful. So far, she's promised that it's going to be "smart with heart." It'll feature two or three segments per episode of her talking with a celeb, newsmaker, or someone who should be a newsmaker in the "women who should be famous" segment. When the shows debuts September 10, she's set to talk to Jessica Simpson, who'll chat about her life since giving birth to 4-month-old daughter Maxi, and — what everyone is really wondering about — her efforts to lose the 80 pounds she gained during pregnancy. Singer Sheryl Crow, who revealed that she had a benign brain tumor in June, is also set to appear. Future episodes will feature Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Demi Lovato, and Wendy Williams. "The good thing about me is, I always say I'm five miles wide and half an inch deep," Couric told The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm very interested in a lot of different things. I still have a natural curiosity, even today, to learn more and to help people understand things better."
Besides "Katie," here's a look at a few other entries into the daytime talk show game this fall.
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- "The Ricki Lake Show," September 10: If you were one of the viewers who sang "Go Ricki" while Lake was on the air with "Ricki Lake" for 11 years ending in 2004, then you're probably looking forward to this syndicated show. But don't expect it to pick up where she left off; The new show is supposed to tackle more sophisticated topics than the old one, like families, parenting, and health.
- "Trisha Goddard," September 17: Like Lake, Goddard is a returning talk show host, who had her own show in Britain for 11 years. On the new syndicated U.S. version of her show, she'll take on the role that's been filled by such greats as Maury Povich (whose show she guest-hosted), Geraldo Rivera, and Jerry Springer, with lots of pregnancy and lie detector tests, if you're into that sort of thing.
- "The Jeff Probst Show," September 10: The "Survivor" host will add another gig to his schedule with a syndicated program that, according to a press release, is about "hot topics of the day, relationships, family dynamics, celebrities, newsmakers, families, and individuals facing challenges and overcoming obstacles." Sounds like nothing we've never seen before, right?!
- "Marie," October 1: Former "Donny & Marie" star and recent "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Marie Osmond heads over to the Hallmark Channel. The show will feature "celebrity and non-celebrity guests who drop by for revelatory discussion of lifestyle tips and trends, socially important issues, and breakthroughs that empower families," according to its website.
- "Steve Harvey," September 4: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man author/comedian/radio show host Steve Harvey brings his act to TV in a syndicated program about relationships. It also will offer a few things that other shows don't, like humor and "sharp opinions," Harvey told "Access Hollywood." "I think this show is going to say a lot of things from a different perspective that a lot of shows just haven't been able to," he said.
Good luck to any of the new hosts saying something that hasn't been said before!
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