As if having "The View" inflicted upon us is not enough, CBS is going with its own clone of that with "The Talk," which debuts today at 2 p.m.
It's probably a smart move of the network not to try to go head-to-head with the already established "View," but instead, build its own audience, with hostesses Julie Chen, Marissa Jaret Winkour, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne. (Christie Brinkley is the show's first guest).
CBS has been killing off its soap opera programming for the last couple of years and needed something to fill the afternoons, and talk shows are much cheaper to produce than anything else.
Of course, the timing of all this is perhaps the most interesting thing, coming on the heels of "The View's" spectacular meltdown last Thursday, in which Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set during a segment with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly over the NYC mosque near Ground Zero.
I didn't see much of the lead-up before the blow-up, but I did see Goldberg and Behar and O'Reilly all yelling at each other. For a show called "The View," not a lot of people were allowed to express their views, making the show a bit (more) pointless.
Not to take one side or the other, because frankly I'm not a fan of any of them, but what did "The View" hostesses expect O'Reilly to say that he hasn't already said 1,000 times? It seemed a bit excessive to have that reaction, considering that they couldn't be shocked by the fact that he's against the mosque.
And why would O'Reilly go on a show that has only one conservative voice (Elizabeth Hasselbeck) among all the hostesses? Surely he must have known that he was going to get grilled by multiple people who don't agree with him?
Maybe it all wasn't planned, but it does give off the scent of a ratings stunt, since all of the media were talking about the meltdown the next day and showing clips. There's a showbiz adage that says there's no such thing as bad publicity.
And with "The Talk" set to air, "The View" made good use of its publicity to keep itself high-profile at a time when a competitor shows up.
MONDAY'S BEST BETS: Are we meeting the Mother finally? Jennifer Morrison begins a stint on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8 p.m.) as Ted's new girlfriend, with speculation that she is the previously unseen title character. Of course, that's what people thought with Sarah Chalke, so you never know. All of the other CBS sitcoms are new, as is "Hawaii Five-0" at 10 p.m.
ABC has two hours of "Dancing With The Stars," followed by "Castle" at 10 p.m.
Jennifer Grey guest stars on "House" (Fox, 8 p.m.), which has Dr. Crankypants babysitting Cuddy's daughter. It's followed by "Lie To Me."
"The Event" (NBC, 9 p.m.) is new, guaranteeing me a new headache, following a new "Chuck" and preceding a new "Chase" at 10 p.m.
Finally, "Weeds" and "The Big C" are new on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m.
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