Six Celebs Who Could Replace Oprah
With word that Oprah Winfrey will be taking her ridiculously popular daytime talk show elsewhere (see story here), there's a massive void in the broadcast television world to be filled. Winfrey was always the one to score huge exclusive interviews, landing everyone from Sarah Palin to Tom Cruise to Mackenzie Phillips. So, assuming television execs will want to keep the daytime landscape as similar as possible, who could possibly fill Oprah's shoes? PopEater has a few ideas of who might be up for the job, and why they would or wouldn't work. After the jump, our reasoning as to why these six candidates would or wouldn't work.
Who: Ellen DeGeneres
Since taking the plunge into daytime talk TV in 2003, DeGeneres has had nothing but success. She's racked up more Emmys than a normal trophy wall can hold, and stars are more than happy to go out of their way to appear on her show. And, perhaps more foreshadowing than initially thought, DeGeneres recently talked her way onto the cover of Winfrey's O Magazine ... coincidence or a symbolic passing of the torch? We'll see.
Is She a Good Fit?: Absolutely
DeGeneres has the confidence and ability to make everyone sitting in the guest chair feel right at home. As long as she can tone down the silliness when the interview necessitates such actions (see: Charla Nash, Lisa Niemi), DeGeneres could make the easiest transition into the Oprah slot.
Who: Sarah Palin
Once Sarah Palin's bid to become vice president didn't pan out, rumors swirled that her newfound fame and popularity might take her to the talk show circuit. Well, she was just on 'Oprah' to promote her new book 'Going Rogue,' and as long as she doesn't have another presidential run in her forecast, the timing could very well be right for Sarah.
Is She a Good Fit?: Not Really
Palin is entertaining and certainly has gripped the nation with her meteoric rise to fame, but given her polarizing personality and political views, we doubt ABC or other networks would want to risk alienating a massive portion of the population thanks to her history. Plus, how many times can an audience tolerate a "You betcha" response when a guest asks a question in return?
Who: Ryan Seacrest
Who ever would have thought that the frosty-haired 'American Idol' co-host (anyone remember Brian Dunkleman?) would slowly become the hardest working man in showbiz, racking up radio shows, New Years Eve broadcasts and more. Seacrest, like Ellen, has a rapport with celebs that few other interviewers do, and he's not afraid to ask a tough question here and there.
Is He a Good Fit?: Not Really
Seacrest could certainly do a great job as the A-list interviewer, but personality-wise, he's a bit cold for daytime talk TV. We just don't see Midwest housewives cuddling up on the couch to watch Ryan talk on-set romances with Katherine Heigl or interview chimp victim Charla Nash.
Who: Whoopi Goldberg
If history has showed us anything, it's that there's only so much time that one can tolerate on 'The View.' The show's revolving door of co-hosts and moderators has spanned everyone from Rosie O'Donnell to current 'Today' host Meredith Vieira. We're thinking there's a good chance that Whoopi could use Oprah's departure as a launching pad for her to ditch Joy, Elisabeth and the rest of the always infighting 'View' crew.
Is She a Good Fit?: Indeed
Whoopi's calm demeanor and ability to wrangle everyone on the set of 'The View' is a skill set that few could possibly possess, and she's nailed it with honors. She's smart, concise and seasoned enough to be able to handle all kinds of interviews while also having the comedic punch to supplement the lighter parts of a daytime show.
Who: Rachael Ray
Perhaps the likeliest of all candidates on this list, Ray is a protege of Winfrey, as Oprah got the Food Network star her own daytime gig and took her under her wing.
Is She a Good Fit?: Nope
Rachael needs the food outlet of her show to keep things moving along, and unless they plan on blending serious interview with Mackenzie Phillips about incest with how to make pot pie out of Thanksgiving leftovers, we just don't see this happening. Also, could you imagine the foodie community's fervor should she make a leap like that?
Who: Paula Abdul
There's no more 'American Idol' in Paula Abdul's future, so why not give her a crack at daytime TV? She's famous, has a history of success, and may have picked up some pointers from fellow candidate Ryan Seacrest ... actually, on second thought ...
Is She a Good Fit?: Not at All
While there would certainly be a good chunk of people tuning in to see which Paula shows up each day -- the charming and funny one, or the erratic and wobbly one -- just because Miss Abdul is unemployed doesn't mean she's Oprah-worthy.
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