It’s a time of tremendous upheaval right now in the daytime talk show game, as new faces are emerging to take over hosting slots being vacated by some of the biggest names. Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Williams and Nick Cannon are all stepping away from their shows for various reasons, and now, it seems another longtime favorite will be joining them. Maury Povich will end his 31 season run on Maury later this year when the popular host retires at 83.
Formerly The Maury Povich Show, the long-running syndicated program first launched in 1991 and shortened its name to Maury back in 1998. During its history, the show did episodes and individual segments on a wide variety of different issues, but it eventually became famous for its paternity show segments in which suspected fathers took DNA tests to see if a mother’s baby was their kid.
The basic format would follow the mom discussing the baby and talking about who fathered the child. Viewers would then hear from the father, who would often claim the kid wasn’t his, and eventually, Povich would say some version of “when it comes to (baby’s name), you (are/ are not) the father.” Sometimes everyone involved would vow to work together and co-parent. Sometimes the responses were less than ideal. You never quite knew what to expect.
With all of this daytime upheavel, it’s a bit unclear who might emerge as the biggest stars of tomorrow. Ellen Degeneres, in particular, was a force for many years, though her show lost some popularity over the past few years amidst behind-the-scenes scandals. Wendy Williams too was a big player in the space and competed pretty closely with Ellen, The View, Dr. Phil and other stand-bys, but recent health issues have forced her to step back from her program. Once you throw in Nick Cannon, who saw his self-titled show get cancelled, and the recent cancellation of The Good Dish, and the field suddenly seems more wide open than it has in years.
The biggest new players in the space look to be Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd. Hudson’s, fittingly titled The Jennifer Hudson Show, will launch next season as a Warner Bros production and has been picked up by Fox. Likewise, Shepherd will launch Sheri, which will take over the vacated spot left by Wendy Williams. That decision in particular was pretty natural given she filled in for Williams extensively and seemed to be a hit with fans.
The two new faces will join some recently emerged players in the daytime space. Both Drew Barrymore and Kelly Clarkson have launched their own efforts over the past few years, and their fun personalities have really connected with fans. It’ll be interesting to see how they do compared to Shepherd and Hudson, and whether the new faces are able to grab some of the audience share.
New episodes of Maury will run through September, and the show will continue broadcasting re-runs after that. They should continue putting up numbers, at least for awhile, given the paternity show episodes and some of the other topics aren’t really time sensitive.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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