Katie Couric modestly says she doesn’t expect to reach Oprah-esque fanfare with her debut daytime TV talk show (in the old Oprah slot, ABC 3pm EST, going against Ellen on NBC) but she does intend to wow millions with her professional interviewing prowess. Like Oprah, Couric started out as a TV journalist. But now she’s back on soft sofas with celebrities like Jessica Simpson (how to lose 80 pounds post-pregnancy), Susan Sarandon (how to deal with cougar status), Sheryl Crow (breast cancer, brain tumor, Lance Armstrong, she also wrote Katie’s theme song), and the venerable Babs (who, let’s face it, doesn’t need a specific topic). Couric will also interview “real people,” even designating some “Women Who Should Be Famous” including a Georgia college student who has survived losing her limbs to a rare, flesh-eating bacteria.
Viewers who find Katie pulling too hard on feminine heartstrings can get a male perspective on popular culture from one of the original Kings of Comedy, Steve Harvey. He’ll warm up the audience at 2pm EST (on NBC, before Ellen) with attitudes reflected in his two books: “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” and “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find and Keep a Man.” His other TV show, The Steve Harvey Show, aired for six seasons (1996-2002) on The WB. On the sitcom, Harvey played a high school teacher who affectionately called the principal (his former classmate) “Piggy,” as she was overweight as an adolescent. His character also frequented a strip club called “The Nasty Kitty.” Kitty, not Katie.