Daytime Television Year In Review 2011
2011 has seen drastic changes to the daytime landscape. Soap operas continue to hang by a thread while networks continue to think of more creative and less expensive programming for their audience.
Here's a look at some of the biggest daytime events in 2011 and what we can look forward to in the new year.
1. Meredith Viera Says Goodbye To NBC’s “Today”
After nearly five years co-hosting America’s number one morning show “Today,” Meredith Viera spent her last day sitting next to Matt Lauer June 8. Her final show was an epic farewell with performances by Carole King and a surprise appearance by Jimmy Fallon. Evident from her tears, Viera adored her morning job and based on the moving tributes, the rest of the “Today” show team loved her.
Viera will be a familiar face and remain a contributor to NBC’s “Today.” In addition, starting in January, she will be a correspondent for “Rock Center.”
Ann Curry replaced Viera in the anchor chair June 9.
2. Regis Philbin Bids Farewell To “Live With Regis And Kelly”
On November 18, Regis Philbin took his usual walk through the set of “Live With Regis and Kelly” as a teary Kelly Ripa held his hand for the last time.
Philbin’s final show was filled with audience members who were his dear friends including former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Donald Trump, Tony Danza and others. In addition, Philbin’s wife, Joy, and their two daughters watched from the front row.
The final show included a personal version of “Season Of Love” from the cast of the Broadway show, Rent. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented Philbin with a key to New York City. Finally, co-host Ripa delivered a tearful speech. She thanked Philbin for “trying to make me feel like one million bucks.”
The talk show, now titled “Live With Kelly,” has not named a new host. Ripa will host with multiple people in the next few months until a final decision is made. Possible candidates include her husband Marc Consuelos, Neil Patrick Harris, Jeff Probst and Chris Harrison.
3. Oprah Winfrey Ends Her Daytime Talk Show
The queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, bid farewell to her history-making show on May 25. The host’s final show was called “a love letter to her fans” as Winfrey shared some of the greatest life lessons she has learned over her 25 years of hosting.
Before her final show, Winfrey was surprised at the United Center in Chicago with a star-studded farewell celebration. Hosted by Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, the two shows included performances by Beyonce, Kristin Chenoweth, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Patti LaBelle and others.
Winfrey vowed to continue teaching and educating viewers with her network, The Oprah Winfrey Network. The network, which launched January 1, 2011, is struggling in the ratings. However, Winfrey remains committed to the network and will premiere her new show titled, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” January 1, 2012.
4. Drama At “The Talk”
When season two premiered September 6, fans were confused as to why Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini were absent from the discussion table. Months after the second season premiered, fans still have not heard a definite answer as to why the two hosts were not asked back.
Fans of Peete and Remini quickly banded together through social media to help get the two back on the air. Peete and Remini developed a strong following on Twitter that helped prolong the movement. It wasn’t enough, however, as Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler were later announced as the new co-hosts.
Possible rumors as to why the two hosts weren’t asked back include possible personality clashes, producers moving into another direction or as current co-host Sharon Osbourne said Monday on Howard Stern’s radio show, the two former hosts, “don’t really know who they are.” Ouch.
5. Anderson Cooper Adds Daytime To His List Of Jobs
Even with a primetime news program on CNN, Cooper wanted to try his luck at daytime TV as the premiere of “Anderson” debuted in September.
The show, which has already been renewed for a second season, continues to have thought-provoking discussions as well as A-list celebrity appearances.
Recently, Cooper told reporters, “I am enjoying the daytime show tremendously and am looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Cooper has covered a wide variety of topics during his shows. Some episodes include fashion finds for less with “Project Runway” host Heidi Klum, a hour dedicated to school bullying, Cooper’s adventurous trip to Costco, going tanning with Snooki and stories of bad plastic surgery.
Former “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels joins “The Doctors.”
“The Nate Berkus Show” will not be renewed for a third season.
Dr. Phil obtains first interview with Casey Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony.
Katie Couric and Ricki Lake return with new daytime talk shows.
CBS revamps their morning news program, “The Early Show,” with new hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose.
ABC debuts “The Revolution” in January with co-hosts Ty Pennington, Tim Gunn, Harley Pasternak and more.
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