Considering the uphill track record in daytime talk — and history shows approximately three out of four new hosts do not succeed not succeeding in the format — you have to wonder why any personality would want to tackle it. Think names of in the caliber of like…deep breath…Anderson Cooper, Howie Mandel, Roseanne Barr, Katie Couric, Bethanny Frankel, Megan Mullally, Martin Short, Bonnie Hunt and countless more that could not make a go of it.. Queen Latifah, in fact, came and quickly went twice in this format, and Harry Connick, Jr. was a more recent failure. But if a syndicated daytime talk show does catch on, and the caliber of the host is the key ingredient, the benefits canwill far outweigh theany risks.
“Once you are established in this format, the audience in daytime might very well accept you for years…decades, actually,” noted media analyst Bill Carroll. “And that comes with great financial rewards. It is all about finding the right personality to host it, someone the viewers can trust and relate to, and putting that individual in a format the audience is comfortable with.”
“The added bonus is tapping into something unique, where someone the audience already knows can be utilized to best use,” said Carroll.
Despite many national talk show launches in recent years being replaced by initial test-runs on local stations (where starting with a smaller run is a more affordable option to test the waters and make any necessary tweaks), there is no shortage of national newbies on the potential horizon next fall. Names in contention…also deep breath…include Kelly Clarkson (a replacement for Steve Harvey’s “Steve” from NBCUniversal), Mel Robbins, Tamron Hall, RuPaul, Angie Martinez, Jerry O’Connell and a combined effort with actress Jamie Pressly (“Mom”) and “Saturday Night Live” alum Finesse Mitchell from distributor Debmar-Mercury.
“Breakthrough With Dr. Steve Perry” from CBS Television Distribution, meanwhile, will air for two weeks as a test, beginning Jan. 7, 2019, at various times in eight markets, including WNYW (New York) and KTTV (Los Angeles).
Even Sean Spicer, arguably the world’s most famous White House press secretary, was in recent talks to host his own chatfest (titled “Sean Spicer’s Common Ground”), but that I can officially – and happily — report is kaput.
“The trick is not to throw someone against the wall to see if he or she will succeed in daytime first-run talk,” noted Carroll. “There should be a valid reason behind why to do it, hosted by the type of person that has the goods to succeed in this genre.”
The Return of Judge Joe Brown
While fans of Judge Joe will remember his long-running (1998-2013) first-run court strip, which was often paired with “Judge Judy,” this time the opinionated and commanding presence will tackle a new genre, which will incorporate his court show persona and knowledge of current events. The title is “Hot Topics with Judge Joe,” the distributor is Pacific Lake Entertainment, and the half-hour weekly will feature Judge Joe, and his co-hosts and guests debating current issues including pop culture, sex, health, lifestyle and anything of note that is currently a hot – and conversational – issue.
“I think there is so much more than what you see in any successful court show host,” explained media consultant Brad Adgate. “Their attraction is their leadership, where the command the room and make the ultimate decisions. But I think it would be interesting to see the more detailed side of them, and I think someone in the caliber of Judge Joe Brown is certainly an option in talk.”
“I also think the weekend could be an advantageous time to stand out from the crowd and gain some traction,” he added.
Syndication, of course, has a track record for tackling first-run product on the weekend. And in my next column I will take a walk down memory lane to view some memorable syndicated weeklies and why Judge Joe Brown may just havehas the ingredients to succeed.”