Couric, Probst, Lake debut new talk shows on same day
Katie Couric, Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake and Jeremy Kyle, a straight shooter from the United Kingdom, begin their quest to be the next Oprah when their new talk shows debut today. Comedian Steve Harvey got a jump on everyone debuting last week. "The Jeff Probst Show" kicked off at 9 a.m. on WFTS, Channel 28. The Emmy winning host of "Survivor" will cover topics such as relationships, family dynamics and newsmakers of the day. He welcomed guests who "Say Yes to Life in Incredible Ways," including a woman with a terminal illness, an 8-year-old entrepreneur and an elderly couple who fell and love and married in a nursing home.Former "Today" host and CBS news anchor Couric hits daytime at 3 p.m. To make room for "Katie," ABC is moving long-running "General Hospital" to 2 p.m. Couric's first guests include new mom Jessica Simpson and singer Sheryl Crowe, who has been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. "The Jeremy Kyle Show," debuts at 2 p.m. on CW affiliate WTOG, Channel 44. He is billed as being outspoken with a tough-love approach to people's problems. Topics he'll tackle this week include a man who "disowned" his son, someone having difficulty accepting his dad's death and mom's new boyfriend, and baby selling. "The Ricki Lake Show" launches at 4 p.m. on WTOG with the host tackling a familiar topic — weight loss. Lake, who herself has had past issues with obesity, talks to a woman who went from a size 28 to a size 4 and another woman gets a makeover after losing 110 pounds. Several other talk shows also return today including a refurbished "Anderson Live" with CNN's Anderson Cooper at 1 p.m. on WTVT, Channel 13. The show will now feature rotating guest co-hosts, including Kristin Chenoweth today. Their guests include reality star Honey Boo Boo and her mom, and Patricia Krentcil, the New Jersey woman known as "Tan Mom." Also returning today: "The Talk" at 2 p.m. on WTSP, Channel 10, "The Doctors" at 3 p.m. and "The Dr. Oz Show" at 4 p.m. on WFLA, Channel 8, and "Ellen" with Ellen Degeneres at 4 p.m. on WFTS. COWELL FUMES: Simon Cowell has uncorked some of the most withering criticism of his career but it isn't directed at some hapless contestant on Fox's "The X Factor" — this time, his ire is pointed at "The Voice," his main competition in televised singing shows. Cowell unloaded his scorn after NBC added a third night to the season premiere of "The Voice," which airs at 8 tonight, Tuesday and now Wednesday. The latter date officially conflicts with "The X Factor's" season premiere, and Cowell is unhappy about it. "This is a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business," he said to TMZ, citing a previous "gentlemen's agreement" that kept to the similar shows in different time slots. He even resuscitated a late '90s diva rivalry between "X Factor" judge Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera of "The Voice," declaring that "Britney's not going to appreciate the fact that Christina — who has been a bit of a rival — isn't allowing Britney to have a night of her own." "The reason they've done this is they don't want people to see 'X Factor' because they've heard how good the series is. They don't want their audience to see Britney Spears," he said.
Kim MacCormack, Walt Belcher and the Los Angeles Times contributed to his report.