Talk Shows
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Talk Shows With Your Hosts: Lindsay Varner Danielle Dallaire Sarah Stein Allison Doerfler History Like soap operas, talk shows began as daytime radio programming for housewives. The formula was applied to television because it was inexpensive for a young medium.

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Talk Shows

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Talk Shows

With Your Hosts:

Lindsay Varner

Danielle Dallaire

Sarah Stein

Allison Doerfler

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  • Like soap operas, talk shows began as daytime radio programming for housewives.

  • The formula was applied

    to television because it

    was inexpensive for a

    young medium.

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The 1950’s: public affairs shows

  • Meet The Press: first and longest running TV talk show of all time (1947)

    • 1st moderator Martha Rountree, only female moderator in show’s history

  • Various imitators of panel discussion formula emerged

  • Leave It To The Girls: panel of female celebrities and one male opinion (1949)

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The 1950’s: morning shows

  • Today (1952) integrates news and entertainment

    • Televisions longest running daytime series and one of the most profitable TV shows in history

    • The “Today Girl” added in 1953

    • “Today Girl” becomes a full-fledged cast member in 1974

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The 1960’s: more entertainment & women

  • 1963: Barbara Walters becomes a regular “Today Girl”

  • Female-hosted shows increase

    • Focus on celebrity interviews and the host personality rather than issues

      • Girl Talk (1963-1970)

      • Gypsy (1965) hosted by Gypsy Rose Lee

      • Pamela Mason Show / The Weaker (?) Sex (1965 / 1968)

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The 1970’s: serious issues

  • Helen Gurley Brown attempts to address serious women’s issues with Outrageous Opinions in 1967

  • The Phil Donahue Show (1967) popularizes the shift towards serious issues

    • Audience questions and phone calls on air

    • Seeks heated debates and controversial guests

      • Phyllis Schafly (anti-ERA) and Eleanor Smeal (head of NOW)

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The 1980’s: sensationalist competition

  • Competitors copy Donahue’s style of sensationalism with political undertones.

    • Sally Jesse Raphael moves from radio to TV (1985)

    • The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated nationally in 1986)

      • Oprah becomes richest woman in

        America in the 1990’s and turns from

        sensationalism to therapy

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The 1980’s: more variety

  • “Tabloid TV” debuts with Geraldo in 1987

    • Geraldo boasts an “edge”, complete with fistfights

  • Leave It To the Women (1981) updates Leave It To The Girls

  • Live With Regis and Kathie Lee (1989) returns to entertainment without sensationalism

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The 1990’s: “exploitalk”

  • “Exploitalk”: aimed at 18-34 year olds, and focuses increasingly on human sexuality topics

    • 1991: Maury Povich,

      Montel Williams, Jenny Jones

    • 1992: Jerry Springer

    • 1993: Leeza Gibbons,

      Ricki Lake

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The 1990’s: backlash against Trash TV

  • Senator Joseph Lieberman and his associates convince many advertisers to withdraw sponsorship

  • Jenny Jones murder trial

  • Many hosts decide to clean up their acts

  • New shows lead the way back to entertainment programming

    • Rosie O’Donnell (1996)

    • Barbara Walter’s The View (1997)

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Single topic

Regular professional guests

e.g.) Psychic Sylvia Brown on Montel Williams

Affected By:

Phil Donahue-audience participation and on-air phone calls

Game shows

Queen for a Day-charity

This is Your Life-surprises and emotions

One-Host/ Moderator ~ Daytime

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Panel Discussion ~ Daytime

  • People discuss aspects of lives or current social issues

  • More dialogue

  • Different opinions sparks interesting conversations

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“Couch Shows” ~ Daytime

  • One host behind desk who conducts interviews

  • Alternative to “trashy talk shows”

  • Coffee break companionship

  • Entertainment for those who work nights

    • e.g.) The Rosie O’Donnell Show

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One-Host ~ Nighttime

  • Talk shows move to night by 1954

  • People did not want to hear about controversial issues while winding down for bed = comedy-oriented

  • Late-night recipe:

    • Sidekick

    • Bandleader

    • Opening monologue

    • Guests

      • e.g.) Late Night with Conan O’Brien, sidekick Andy (who recently left), bandleader Max.

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Panel Discussion ~ Nighttime

  • Similar set up as daytime

    • e.g.) Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

  • Night issues

    • comedy-oriented

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News and entertainment value

Typically Panel Discussion

Relaxed setting

e.g.) Good Morning America, living room set


Straight news, 2-4 topics in 1-hour program

Typically One Host

How different than regular news programs:

Human-interest stories

Celebrity interviews

News Talk Shows

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The View

  • Premiered August 11, 1997 on ABC

  • Hosted by 5 women, led by Barbara Walters

  • Cover diverse topics

  • Mostly female audience

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The Hosts

  • Barbara Walters

  • Meredith Vieira

  • Star Jones

  • Joy Behar

  • Lisa Ling

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The Topics

  • Hot Topics

  • Celebrity Guest Interviews

  • Beauty/Health/Fashion Tips

  • ”Out of the Closet”

  • Special Segments

  • “Question of the Day”

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“Loose and flip and they say things women aren’t supposed to say out loud, let alone on TV. They swoon over cute guys, complain about ex-husbands, react emotionally to events and people in the news and say unkind things about other women” ~ Joyce Millman

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The Other Half

  • Dick Clark

  • Dorian Gregory

  • Danny Bonaduce

  • Mario Lopez

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The Show

  • Female producer

  • In touch with feminine side

  • Tackles “women’s issues”

    • Grab Bag

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The Topics

  • Polygamy Wives

  • Slim your figure instantly

  • The Aging Machine

  • Save your marriage

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Varying lives

Have messages for female audience



In touch with feminine side


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Contact Information



    Thank you for joining us, we’ll see you next time!

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