Decision 2012: Katie Couric and Ricki Lake to Duke It Out for Daytime Slot?
By Rob Shuter Posted Mar 16th 2011 10:02AM
Next year, voters will decide who gets to live in the White House, but among TV bigwigs, there's another choice to be made. Two former daytime titans, Katie Couric and Ricki Lake, are itching to get back in the game, but there's no guarantee the networks or distributors need both.
"They both want this really bad," a TV insider tells me. "But it looks like Katie has the upper hand at the moment, being courted by the syndication arms of both CBS and NBC Universal for her own daily talk show."
Ricki has made it no secret that she misses daytime TV, even confiding to Oprah in November and 'The View' in February that she would love to return after seven years off. But what is delaying a decision by NBC and CBS about Ricki's return is Katie, whose contract as anchor of 'CBS Evening News' is expiring.
"Everyone is super interested in Katie. She is everyone's first choice," one development executive tells me. "If Katie decides to leave CBS News after her contract expires following the election, then Ricky can kiss her hope of returning goodbye."
Of course 2012 is a long ways off, and a lot can change in the world of daytime. Another show can sunset or tank in the ratings, opening up more time and space for multiple new shows.
By next year, Oprah will have been off the air for a whole season and the competition for slots will heat up, but there are only so many networks and hours of the day that need to be filled.
Ricki or Katie, it's going to be one exciting battle.
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