Monday, January 24, 2011

Regis and Oprah and Larry, Oh My!

I found an article today about TV’s loss of Regis, Oprah, and Larry King today and it reminded me that I have been meaning to blog about this. What will the world be like without these three influential news makers, news people, and interviewers? I could write an entire blog about life without Oprah and how horrible it will be… and I may still later on in her final season, but for now I find myself wondering what is next for TV?

In a world of reality TV, YouTube, and Jersey Shore do we have room for talk show news shows anymore? Most people my age don’t watch them anyway. I, however, have always been 40 at heart and still tune in to see Regis and Kelly and tape Oprah every day. I only sometimes watch Larry King, but that was by personal choice because I never liked him. The article states that Regis and Kelly will still be successful if they find the right co-host, and I agree. He also states that Anderson Cooper would have been a great fill in for Regis. I am so bummed that Anderson can’t fulfill Regis’s role. He has his own daytime talk show coming out, but I really wonder about how successful it will be. I love him, so I mean this in the best possible way, but he needs a sidekick. He is too serious and shy to anchor his own talk show. He and Kelly Ripa are a hilarious combo.

As for Larry King, I don’t mind that he is gone, but Piers Morgan’s new show in its place is not great. He has booked some good people on it (hello Oprah, Condoleezza Rice, and George Clooney), but he seems too intent on asking personal loaded questions, which I think only skilled interviewers who have grown to be loved and appreciated by celebrities can pull off (people like Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters).

Finally, no one can replace Oprah. No one. Not even Ellen, as much as I enjoy her show. Oprah changed the way America thinks. She got into the heart of the public and became the heartbeat of Americans. She did it skillfully, respectfully, humorously, and intelligently. That is what sets her apart: she sees intelligence in every person. She believes “normal” or “average” people are just as profound and wise as a celebrity, maybe more so depending on the person. Oprah made herself one of “us” in spite of her billions of dollars, several houses, and Christian Louboutin shoes.

So, what is next for interview-based shows? Should we start a whole new way of interviewing celebrities and re-hashing the news? Scrap it all together because of the internet? Or choose new and younger celebrities to venture forth on the same paths as Regis, Larry, and Oprah? My opinion: keep the model of Regis and Kelly and fill Regis’ spot with someone other than Mark Consuelos. Maybe Anderson could still do it? Or how about Ryan Seacrest?

Maybe with the Oprah Winfrey Network we won't need daytime talk shows at all.

All I do know is that I hope Barbara Walters isn't "retiring" next. It's bad enough she stopped her Oscars interview show.

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