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Talk show wars: Katie Couric (or Jeff Probst or Ricki Lake or...)

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst Credit: CBS

Three new talk shows arrive today — fronted by Katie Couric, Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake — and while you may be of the opinion that the world needs another talk show like another hole in the head, let's set aside that observation for the moment to face reality: Three new talk shows are a lotta new talks shows.

Who will win? Of these three, it's looks pretty obvious — Katie — who goes up again Steve Harvey who launched last week. (Oh, right. Four new talk shows.) We'll know how well he did later this week when the syndicated tabs come out. But let's not jump to conclusions just yet.

Why all the talk? Simple: Oprah's vacuum remains largely unfilled. And so here we go — the great money chase is on! Katie's advantages here are obvious --an established record as someone who knows how to interview people.

Jeff pretty much only knows how to ask people whether the rack they just climbed across and almost killed themselves on was really as miserable as it looked. But he always asks nicely; say what you will about Jeff, but he's very likable, and that counts for a lot in this game.

Ricki has a weak station lineup (WPIX here) but did once host a talk show — an execrable one to be sure, but she knows the game.

Here are pitches from both Katie and Jeff. Let's get ready to rumble!


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