's recent ejection from the low-rated Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
proves daytime drama isn't found only on the soaps. A talk show hostess hasn't been so frostily fired and replaced since The View
's Barbara Walters
bumped Debbie Matenopoulos
off the couch in favor of Lisa Ling
Mars/Venus executive producer Charlie Cook waxes cryptic about the show's reasons for turning a cold shoulder on Shepherd. "I think that Cybill brought an incredible amount of life experience to the show," he hesitantly offers TV Guide Online. "She's a woman who's been in wild relationships... a number of relationships. She covered the bases [as a host], but I think the single-topic talk show and the single host is perhaps limiting. What we wanted to do was get more of the Mars out there."
That means more of a male perspective for those who haven't read John Gray's bestselling series of self-help books, on which Cook admits the show is very loosely based. "The whole Mars/Venus thing has instant brand-name recognition," he says. "If you say Mars/Venus, even people who haven't read the books know it means male-female."
Post-Cybill, the show has morphed from a generic talker into an unusual take on Baba's chatfest The View from Mars, as it were. The five new talking heads include Regis Philbin's co-host reject Cristina Ferrare; former Loveline host Dr. Drew Pinsky, a onetime dispenser of sex advice to randy teens who now looks fidgety and uncomfortable serving up family-oriented fare; and radio refugee Bo Griffin, who calls to mind an unaccountably giggly, watered-down Star Jones. Laughs Cook: "We call her Boprah because she's amazing."
We think viewers will be the judge of that.