It's Official: Americans Are Sick of TV Talk Shows
And Yet, the Networks Just Keep Launching New Ones
Katie Couric, Survivor host Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake, comedian Steve Harvey … those are just a few of the talk shows that launched this fall season, and they joined an already crowded field of talk shows that compete to cover the same tired stories and drag the same tired anecdotes from the same lineup of celebrities.
The result: viewers are quickly growing more and more weary of the tiresome genre, as this week's ratings prove. Couric's new syndicated daytime talk show, Katie, has so far led the new talk shows in ratings, but numbers for her show's second episode dropped 38 percent in the very important female 25-54 demographic, Deadline.com reports.
More bad news for the talkers: Dr. Phil's show, the highest-rated talk show last season, debuted its 11th season on Monday, and the ratings were down 48 percent from the season 10 premiere.
And Probst's new self-titled talk show? The ratings dropped 30 percent overall, and 50 percent in the female 25-54 demo from his Monday debut to his second episode on Tuesday.
The TV talk show competition is, obviously, a tough one, with the production companies giving viewers no end of options of shows to watch, but also no true variation among all those shows.
Between the late-night talk shows, which continue to get the A-list stars promoting their latest projects, the morning talk shows, the plethora of weekly celebrity magazines and, of course, the 24/7 celebrity coverage of the Interwebs, it's difficult-to-impossible for any of these daytime shows to surprise the audience with celeb news.
Heidi Klum's confirmation that she is dating her bodyguard came as a minor scoop on Tuesday's Katie, but since photos of the two of them had already been splashed across the Internet -- and since Klum's ex, Seal, had already spilled the beans that Klum and her bodyguard were involved -- the impact of the news in Celebrityland was minimal.
As for Couric's much-hyped revelation of Jessica Simpson's post-baby weight loss on her debut … again, paparazzi had covered Simpson endlessly, and her "big reveal" wasn't so big or revealing, as every step of her trip from Los Angeles to New York for the show had been photographed.
What's the solution for the talk shows, which seem bent on continuing to air the same old same old, from B-list celebrities and Real Housewives stars pimping their book/hair/makeup/clothing lines to weight loss/makeover/ripped from today's headline-oriented generic topic episodes?
We say bring back the daytime soaps. We've had enough "reality."