Who Will Be the Next Oprah?

Rachael Ray, Sarah Palin, and other potential replacements
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009 1:49 PM CST
Who Will Be the Next Oprah?
Oprah Winfrey announces during a live broadcast of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago that her daytime television show, the foundation of a multibillion-dollar media empire, will end its run in 2011.   (AP Photo)

Who will fill the Oprah vacuum on daytime TV when the Queen of All Media leaves for her cable network in 2011? Mike Hess weighs the pros and cons of six candidates on PopEater.

  • Ellen DeGeneres: "Talked her way onto the cover of Winfrey's O Magazine ... coincidence or a symbolic passing of the torch? We'll see.” In any case, she’s likely the best fit.
  • Ryan Seacrest: "Like Ellen, has a rapport with celebs that few other interviewers do, and he's not afraid to ask a tough question here and there.” But “a bit cold for daytime talk TV.”

  • Sarah Palin: Intriguing, but it's unlikely that “ABC or other networks would want to risk alienating a massive portion of the population thanks to her history."
  • Rachael Ray: Oprah’s protégé would make a terrible replacement, Hess writes, “unless they plan on blending serious interview with Mackenzie Phillips about incest with how to make pot pie."
  • Whoopi Goldberg: Might do anything to escape her current gig. And her "calm demeanor and ability to wrangle everyone on the set of The View is a skill set that few could possibly possess."
  • Paula Abdul: “There would certainly be a good chunk of people tuning in to see which Paula shows up each day—the charming and funny one, or the erratic and wobbly one.”
(Read more Oprah Winfrey stories.)

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