The daytime talk show brawl is about to heat up. Starting Monday, three new talk shows hit the air in an all-out push for that big, lucrative audience Oprah Winfrey left behind in May 2011. Another newcomer launched last week and another newbie arrives next. Here's a look at each contender:
KATIE (3 p.m.)
Guests/topics Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow (Monday); Aimee Copeland, student who lost limbs to flesh-eating bacteria (Tuesday); Heidi Klum (Wednesday); women who inspired Couric -- motivational speaker Brené Brown and blogger Jenny Lawson (Thursday); Jennifer Lopez (Friday).
Bottom line Advantage goes to Katie Couric -- so far. Besides the Disney promotional muscle in support of this, she has the range, skills and talent to handle this and, in fact, says so herself: "I hope that people expect me to have the ability to tackle a lot of different subjects well and from the very, very serious to much more lighthearted feature-type stories." Question is, will viewers love her solo act as much as they loved her as part of a team at "Today"?
THE JEFF PROBST SHOW (2 p.m.)
Guests/topics People who say yes to life (Monday); British singing star Emeli Sande (Tuesday); couple building America's biggest private home (Wednesday); "Sexy at any age" (Thursday); Morgan Spurlock on "What Makes a Man?" (Friday).
Bottom line "Survivor" host Probst promises a congenial, partylike vibe (as opposed to -- what? -- a tortuous, miserable one?) but will parties hosted by Mr. Congeniality be enough to break through the clutter? Awaiting first snarky review when someone writes, "Hand me your torch, Jeff."
THE RICKI LAKE SHOW (4 p.m.)
Guests/topics Weight loss (Monday); hormones (Tuesday); social media (Wednesday); female vets (Thursday); virginity (Friday).
Bottom line Sure you remember Ricki -- host of a talk show from the early '90s that gave talk shows a bad name. But Lake wants you to forget all that; her newbie's supposed to be an "honest" and "inspirational" take on subjects for the "modern woman," or at least inspirational until the ratings flag.
STEVE HARVEY (3 p.m.)
Guests/topics Surprise marriage proposal (Monday); technology intervention (Tuesday); wedding wake-up calls (Wednesday); financial success (Thursday); family at odds (Friday).
Bottom line Harvey is a very funny guy -- one of the original Kings of Comedy -- and has been successful at pretty much whatever he's done (standup, sitcom, radio, author). But hosting a touchy-feely daytime self-help talk show? Seems a stretch. Show got a jump on the competition by starting last week.
TRISHA (5 p.m., starting Sept. 17)
Bottom line Trisha who? That is the bottom line. Trisha Goddard is an almost complete unknown in a very crowded field. For the record, she's a British talk host and "conflict resolution" expert (who has appeared frequently here on "Maury"). Her new program how is billed as "straight talk with a no-excuses mentality."