The void Oprah Winfrey's retirement left in daytime television can't simply be described as a hole.
It's closer to a vacuum, having sucked names both familiar - Katie Couric, Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake and Steve Harvey - and less so - Bill Cunningham and Trisha Goddard - into the often perilous world of talk shows.
Recent chat-fests have had a survival rate approaching that of a hot coed in a slasher flick. But they're still the main attraction this fall as local stations bolster their lineups with syndicated fare.
"Katie," which finds the former CBS news anchor returning to her "Today" roots, can be seen at 2 p.m. weekdays on KVVU-TV, Channel 5.
That's in direct competition with "The Jeff Probst Show," which has the "Survivor" host covering some of the same general-interest ground, at 2 p.m. weekdays on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.
The other four newcomers are shaking up the weekday schedule on KVCW-TV, Channel 33. "Trisha," hosted by "Maury" conflict-resolution expert Goddard, airs at 10 a.m. "The Bill Cunningham Show," starring the talk-radio host, can be seen at 3 p.m. After an eight-year absence from daytime, Lake returns with "The Ricki Lake Show" at 4 p.m. And the comedian turned self-help author presides over his namesake "Steve Harvey" at 5 p.m.
Other talk shows are on the move. KVMY-TV, Channel 21, has added "The Wendy Williams Show" at 9 a.m. weekdays and "The Steve Wilkos Show" at 4 a.m. weekdays.
Two original comedies will debut next week on Channel 33. "The First Family," airing at 5 p.m. Sundays, follows "'the residents of the White House." It features TV veterans Marla Gibbs, Jackee Harry and John Witherspoon, as well as longtime Las Vegan Gladys Knight. "Mr. Box Office," at 5:30 p.m. Sundays, follows a top Hollywood star who's sentenced to teach English at an inner-city high school. It stars Bill Bellamy, Jon Lovitz, Tim Meadows and Vivica A. Fox.
Prime-time series new to syndication include "Castle" (11:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Channel 13), "Private Practice" (11:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1 a.m. Mondays, KLAS-TV, Channel 8), "Rules of Engagement" (5 and 5:30 p.m. weekdays, Channel 21; 2 and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Channel 33), "White Collar" (11 p.m. and midnight Thursdays, Channel 21), "Leverage" (8 and 9 p.m. Sundays, Channel 21), "Are We There Yet?" (2:30 a.m. weekdays, Channel 21; 4:30 p.m. Sundays, Channel 33) and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (8 p.m. Saturdays, Channel 5).
Among the series with new homes are "Dog the Bounty Hunter" (1:30 p.m. weekdays, Channel 5), "CSI: Miami" (4 p.m. Saturdays, Channel 5), "Cold Case Files" (11 a.m. weekdays, KTUD-TV, Channel 25), "America's Funniest Home Videos" (4 p.m. weekdays, Channel 25) and the Canadian dramas "Cold Squad" (1:30 a.m. and midnight Sundays, Channel 8) and "Da Vinci's Inquest" (12:30 a.m. Sundays, Channel 8).
Contact Christopher Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4567.