As Ellen DeGeneres hosted the final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May, she shared how the series — a 19-season juggernaut of jerks, awards shows and celebrity scares — first aired.
“Twenty-five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be on prime time once a week. And I said, ‘OK, so I’ll be daytime. every day,'” DeGeneres said.
The ending was bittersweet. DeGeneres’ reputation as a fun-loving do-gooder had been called into question following accusations from former employees that her producers allowed a toxic work environment on set.
A sea of change has hit the daytime format this year as a slew of veteran hosts call it a day. As audiences flock from broadcast to streaming, the format hasn’t seen such an upheaval since Oprah stepped down as daytime queen in 2011.
The day will be different in the future: former Oprah producer
Last week the offbeat beloved Wendy Williams show ended on a low note – 12 seasons later – without Williams herself in attendance. In fact, the series had been a revolving door of guest hosts since July 2021, when the former shock jock took a health-related hiatus.
In the fall, his day slot will be occupied by former View co-anchor and actress Sherri Shepherd, who frequently filled in for Williams while she was on leave.
While Williams never knocked Ellen-levels of popularity, she and her show have been praised and sometimes criticized for their unfiltered nature. In recent years, Williams has become a popular internet meme, with TikTok users compiling highlights and best moments.
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“People think [the] talk [genre] is so easy. They think they can just sit down and host a talk show. It’s incredibly nuanced,” said Candi Carter, a former producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, View and Tamron Hall.
“You have to be able to lead content and lead a show, but also be very vulnerable and sensitive. back in the seat. “
After 31 years of career, Maury Povich, loyal to trash TV, has hung up his paternity tests: “That’s enough, already!” the host said in his departure statement. weird eye co-host Karamo Brown, a frequent guest on Mauryis leading a self-help program produced by the Povich team starting this fall.
Dr. Oz quit his health-lifestyle show in January. The retired surgeon and Oprah protege, who critics say promotes quackery and dodgy products, is running for the United States Senate. His program was replaced by that of his daughter Daphne Oz The good dishwhich was canceled shortly thereafter.
WATCH | A first promotion for The Jennifer Hudson Show:
Tamron Hall won a Daytime Emmy on Friday for its self-titled talk show, and EGOT-winning singer-actress Jennifer Hudson is working with DeGeneres producers on a self-titled show that will premiere in September.
The question is whether these new programs in the traditional format will have an audience – and where that audience will watch them. by Jada Pinkett Smith Red table discussionfor example, streams on Facebook Watch and usually lasts less than 30 minutes.
“[Daytime television is] just not as lucrative or as popular a space as people are moving to online,” said Stacy Lee Kong, founder of the pop culture newsletter Friday things.
Carter, who left her role as executive producer of Tamron Hall in 2021, said she thought there was still an appetite for the day; it just might look different in the future.
“It’s not necessarily going to be a 30-minute show. It’s going to be a five-minute segment on a streamer or on a social media site, compared to the hour-long, very expensive syndicated show that has to be sold to stations. across the country. I think that model might be dying out.
Programs in the traditional format prolong their lifespan and their audience on social networks. DeGeneres has amassed millions of views on YouTube by posting viral clips from her show.
Think Nicki Minaj singing with young fans Sophia Grace and Rosie, or Gangnam Style singer Psy teaches Britney Spears her signature dance. Finally, DeGeneres has just launched its own version of the video platform: Ellentube.
WATCH | Kelly Clarkson performs Billie Eilish’s song during the “Kellyoke” segment:
Pop singer Kelly Clarkson, who won seven Daytime Emmys on Friday for Season 3 of The Kelly Clarkson Show, seems to fill the void left by DeGeneres. Aside from jovial celebrity interviews, Clarkson’s music videos covering songs by other artists, dubbed “Kellyoke,” are popular on TikTok.
“Sometimes you don’t want to be as serious as View; you want something light, fluffy, frothy. And Kelly Clarkson can provide that,” said Jillian Bowe, editor of Daytime Confidential. Clarkson’s syndicated talk show moved to DeGeneres’ main afternoon time slot this year.
Oprah’s legacy lives on, 11 years later
Before the Ellen began in 2003, Oprah Winfrey’s talk show had been on the air since 1986 – a respectable star among the Maurys, Ricki Lakes, Jerry Springers and Jenny Jones of the day. At the end of its run in 2011, it was an unmissable event for many, a cultural juggernaut.
“You were expected to watch Oprah the same way you watch the 6 p.m. news or watch the 11 a.m. news,” Kong said.
The television landscape has changed dramatically since Winfrey’s departure in 2011. It’s no longer just about daytime programs competing against each other, Kong said: now, “competition is really everything.”
“So you’re not competing with other daytime TV hosts: you’re competing with TikTok and Instagram and you know, everything that’s happening on all the other platforms. So that’s where the change is, I think, a bit more obvious,” she said. said.
It wasn’t all bad news for the broadcast. In December 2020, data measurement firm Nielsen reported that the pandemic had led to an increase in daytime television viewership in North America as the professional class began working from home.
More than 26 million Canadians watch daytime television daily, television advertising company ThinkTV told CBC News in an email. But the most popular daytime shows are news programs and soap operas, he said.
When Oprah’s last episode aired 11 years ago, Nielsen reported that it drew 16.4 million viewers. In contrast, 1.8 million viewers watched Ellen’s last show in May.
A new dawn for black and racialized hosts
Part of Oprah’s and Ellen’s legacies is that they normalized the presence of a black woman and a lesbian woman, respectively, leading their own shows on mainstream television.
While racialized TV hosts were once seen as a “risky investment” among executives, the emergence of Hudson, Brown, Hall and Shepherd on the daytime scene indicates those attitudes have changed, Kong said.
The more opportunities BIPOC hosts have to demonstrate their success, the less prevalent this narrative will be: “‘Oh, I need to get approval, or this is a slot, or I need to convince you that she worth it,'” Kong said.
As with any program genre or format, the day is simply turned upside down, Bowe said.
“It needs a refresh, so to speak. I mean, there are people who still ask, ‘Well, who’s going to be the next Oprah?'”