Katie Couric leads pack of new daytime talk show hosts

Host Katie Couric sits with audience members during Host Katie Couric sits with audience members during a taping of her new talk show "Katie." (Aug. 8, 2012) Photo Credit: ABC

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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 Brene Brown and blogger Jenny Lawson (Thursday); Jennifer Lopez (Friday).

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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.)

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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."

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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.

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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)

Guests/topics TBA

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."

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