The daytime television battleground
‘Katie,’ 3 p.m. ABC
For 15 years, Katie Couric helped America wake up as co-anchor of the “Today” show. She became the first solo female anchor of a national nightly news broadcast when she helmed “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” from 2006 to 2011.
Personality: Couric is the sweet aunt who will take you for brunch and a manicure, listen to your problems, then scold you because you know better. She hopes “Katie” delivers information — from daily news to dating tips — that is “smart with heart.”
What to expect: “Katie,” taped live from NYC and mixing news and entertainment, sounds a little like a one-hour version of “Today.”
“I’m going to be able to flex all my muscles [on ‘Katie’],” Couric says, referring to her 33 years on both ends of the TV news spectrum. “I’ve done … some fun stories, some celebrity-driven stories. And then I’ve done very serious stories. I pride myself on being able to use the right tone and the right approach and to be able to calibrate that approach depending on who I’m interviewing or the topic that I’m dealing with on any given day.”
Secret weapon: Sheryl Crow wrote and performed the “Katie” theme song, reminding us of the A-list contacts list that has got to be on Couric’s iPhone, which she’ll be able to tap for interviews. Crow will appear on the first episode, as will Jessica Simpson.
‘The Ricki Lake Show,’ 5 p.m., The CW
Ricki Lake became a star in John Waters’ classic film “Hairspray.” She hosted her titular chat show from 1993 to 2004, then produced a documentary about childbirth, “The Business of Being Born.” She came in third place on “Dancing with the Stars” in ’11.
Personality: Lake is your sympathetic girlfriend who has been there, done that and always has her own funny anecdote to share.
“I have been rich. I have been poor. I have been fat. I have been thin,” Lake admits. “I’ve had this life experience, and I’m an open book. I’m willing to share my hardships and my triumphs.”
Her mission for her return to talk is “that this can be a smart show [where] people can learn from each other, have a great time and walk away with some takeaway,” she adds.
What to expect: “Ricki Lake” became a phenomenon when Lake, then in her 20s, addressed the (often scandalous) concerns of the younger generation and encouraged audience participation. Now 43, Lake intends to continue engaging her fans, but with a more grownup approach and topics that affect, primarily, women between the ages of 25 and 54.
“Today, times are really tough. We’re all trying to figure it out and put food on our plates and be in the job force and raise families and, you know, figure out the aging process and how to reverse it,” Lake says. “I mean, we all are trying to do the best we can. So I think doing a show now that’s a little less fluff, a little more substance — that’s something I would be looking for as a viewer.”
Secret weapon: Don’t underestimate the nostalgia factor for Ricki Lake, Talk Show Host. The studio audience started a “Go Ricki” chant — a hallmark of the host’s first show — during taping of the new show’s second episode.
“It feels like a natural kind of thing,” Lake says of the cheer. “I’m not opposed to it. I mean, it’s very endearing and makes me feel very welcome.”
‘The Jeff Probst Show,’ Noon, NBC
Jeff Probst is the Emmy Award-winning host of “Survivor”; he has helmed the reality show since 2000. Formerly, he hosted “Rock & Roll Jeopardy!” and was a reporter for “Access Hollywood.”
Personality: Your over-sharing big brother who is also your biggest cheerleader.
“I think my weakness … will be a strength,” Probst says of his tendency to share “sometimes too much.” “In daytime, when you are asking people to share their life on the level that I’m going to go to, you have to be willing to share yours,” he adds. Probst’s wife, Lisa Ann Russell, will often contribute to the day’s conversation.
What to expect: “If you’re looking for Jerry or Maury, this is not your show,” Probst says. “I’m not interested in people fighting onstage.”
You can forget about seeing celebrities promoting their latest movie, too, unless they are able to add to Probst’s message of positivity and embracing new experiences.
“The overall idea of the show is saying yes to the adventures in your life — I mean being married, being a parent, dating, friendships,” he says. “At the end, this really is what defines our life, those adventures. And that’s the idea behind the show, and we will talk about that all the time.”
Secret Weapon: Only “The Jeff Probst Show” boasts a party room complete with massage chairs, makeover stations and snacks for its audience. Probst says the set was designed to be an extension of his living room, a place “where you feel comfortable enough to kick off your shoes.”
The party room serves two purposes, he explains: “One, we want the audience to feel welcome, and we also want them to spread the word — if you are looking for something fun to do in L.A., check out ‘The Jeff Probst Show.’”
Harvey also has something to say
Comedian Steve Harvey got into the daytime talk game early, premiering his self-titled chat show last week. Prompted to host a show after the success of his relationship advice book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” the “King of Comedy” featured “the worst dater in America,” overprotective parents and an introduction to poi exercise during his first week of shows. “Steve Harvey,” ABC