The Top 10 Most Popular Talk Shows in America

A lot of us saw Lance Armstrong finally admit to doping when he won the Tour de France several times over back in the 2000s. That he made his confession to Oprah Winfrey should not really come as a surprise as well. After all, Oprah has made a name for herself through her hugely popular talk show called “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which was the highest-rating talk show during its 25-year run from 1986 to 2011. She has interviewed everyone from the likes of Barack Obama to Elie Wiesel.

So who has taken over the top of the talk show chart? Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and other late night hosts may be the most popular, but their time slots mean that their shows only garner ratings of around 0.5 to 0.8. Here now is a list of the top 10 most popular talk shows in America today.


10 The Jerry Springer Show, NBC Universal – 1.5 rating

“The Jerry Springer Show” began airing on September 30, 1991. Distributed by NBC Universal, the show is taped in Stamford, Connecticut. It is a tabloid-type talk show that features a lot of fights, profanities and even exposure.


9 The Steve Wilkos Show, NBC Universal – 1.5 rating

He used to be an officer of the U.S. Marines. He was also an officer of the Chicago Police Department. He then became the Director of Security on “The Jerry Springer Show.” On several occasions, he substituted for Jerry Springer and hosted the show himself. NBC Universal then decided to give him his very own talk show, which debuted on September 10, 2007. Known for his abrasive approach in solving problems, the show has gotten high ratings since it started airing.


8 The Rachael Ray Show, CBS Television Distribution – 1.5 rating

It is more popularly known by its shortened name of simply “Rachael Ray.” The show is shot in New York City and debuted on September 18, 2006. While the host is known for her love of food and her culinary skills, it actually follows the concept and lines of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It also features interviews with popular celebrities, provocative discussions on burning issues, performances by musical artists and groundbreaking features. The show is set on a circular stage and the audience is accommodated on seats that can revolve so that they will always see the things that are happening on the stage.


7 Steve Harvey, NBC Universal – 1.6 rating

This is a syndicated talk show distributed by NBC Universal. The comedian, actor and radio personality Steve Harvey is the host and executive producer of the show. Endemol handles the distribution outside of North America. It debuted on September 4, 2012. The show is Harvey’s second hosting job, as he is also the host of the game show called “Family Feud.”


6 Katie, Disney ABC – 2.0 rating

Katie Couric was once known as America’s Sweetheart as she was the one that Americans woke up to during her long and successful stint as one of the lead hosts of NBC’s “Today Show.” She left the top rating morning show, however, to become the anchor of “CBS Evening News.” She then transferred to ABC, where she became a correspondent and was given her very own syndicated talk show released through Disney ABC. The show made its debut on September 10, 2012. It got a boost when Couric got an exclusive interview with controversial Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’ o. Jeff Zucker, who worked with Couric in the “Today Show,” is the executive producer of “Katie.”


5 The Maury Povich Show, NBC Universal – 2.3 rating

More popularly known by its shortened name “Maury,” this syndicated talk show from NBC Universal has been on air since 1991. Paramount Domestic Television originally produced it in association with MoPo Productions. The show formally adopted the name “Maury” during the 1995-96 season. It was then revamped in 1998 when Studios USA , the precursor of NBC Universal, took over production. Povich has maintained a semblance of control over the production process as his production company is still a co-producer of the show.


4 The Dr. Oz Show, Sony Pictures Television – 2.6 rating

This syndicated talk show from Sony Pictures Television features Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardio thoracic surgeon and teaching professor from Columbia University. He actually started out with guest appearances in “The Oprah Winfrey Show” from 2004 to 2009. Critics, however, have noted that Dr. Oz has been giving incorrect medical advice from time to time.


3 Live! With Kelly and Michael, Disney ABC – 2.6 rating

This is a syndicated talk show aired over Disney ABC and hosted by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. It actually started out as “The Morning Show” with Regis Philbin and Cyndy Garvey, before it became “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” It proved to be immensely popular and it ran for 12 years. Kelly Ripa then replaced Gifford and “Live with Regis and Kelly aired for 10 years. After Philbin left, Ripa accommodated guest co-hosts to help her out until she was finally paired with Michael Strahan, a former defensive end and American football superstar. The show has won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Hosts.


2 The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Warner Bros. – 2.7 rating

The show is more popularly known by its shortened name “Ellen.” It started airing on September 8, 2003 and airs on syndication, including some stations associated with NBC Universal. Known for her quirky dance, wit and liberal views, the show has garnered 32 Daytime Emmy Awards. The show is shot in Burbank in California.


1 Dr. Phil, CBS Television Distribution – 3.7 rating

Phil McGraw hosts this show, which started out as a segment of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It made its debut on September 16, 2002 on syndication, though some primetime specials are aired on the CBS network. The show features McGraw, a noted clinical psychologist, offering life strategies to guests and viewers. “Dr. Phil” has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award every year since 2004.

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