Although the usual flock of new talk show hopefuls — Caroline Rhea, John Edward, Ananda Lewis, Pat Bullard, Andrew Dice Clay — made the rounds at the recently concluded NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) convention in Las Vegas, it was the not-so-necessarily-new Maury Povich who took the town by storm. As one of the only two established daytime talkers showing growth — Maury and Live with Regis are each up 9 percent in households year-to-year — the rejuvenated talk show has ranked as high as No. 2 this season behind the queen of the genre, Oprah Winfrey.
"Considering this is my 10th season, you might think doing the same thing day in and day out would become tiresome," Povich tells TV Guide Online. "But since I moved over to Studios USA in the fall of 1998 (Maury was syndicated by Paramount from 1991-98), I feel like this is a brand new show."
When Maury became part of the Studios USA family (which includes The Jerry Springer Show and The Sally Jessy Raphael Show) the then-seven-season veteran ranked a distant 9th among all syndicated chatfests. Flash to the present, and the re-energized hour of daytime gab now ranks a healthy (and growing) fourth overall behind Oprah, Regis and a declining Springer.
"I think it may have been obvious to viewers that my show was not as fresh as it once was when I left Paramount," says Povich. "There was no denying that. But since I made the switch to Studios USA it was like starting from scratch. The way I feel now, I could continue doing this show forever."