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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 11/20/2009

An all-star lineup of Oprah replacements

By Liz Kelly

Oprah may not have been a celebrity when she embarked on her broadcasting career some three decades back, but the woman is star power personified at this point. And when she exits the airwaves in September 2011 -- as she's expected to announce later today -- she'll be leaving a huge high-wattage void in our lives.

Who better than another celeb to replace Oprah and take over the mantle? O's replacement must come equipped with a sense of his or her own divinity and a roster of A-list friends to parade before the public.

Below, we offer five celebs who might just have the heft to fill Oprah's shoes:

1. Tom Cruise: Seriously, this guy's movie career is going nowhere and his 2005 couch-jumping episode is only one of TV's most memorable moments. And with pals like John Travolta, Will Smith and the Beckhams on speed dial there'd be no shortage of butt-kissing. And, just think TC, what a platform you'd have to spread your Scientology message. (Bonus: Gratuitously edited Tom Attacks Oprah video.)


2. Dina Lohan: Okay, so it isn't confirmed at this point that the woman can do much beyond partying with her kids, but she is the self-described "white Oprah." Heck, I'd watch even if every show consisted of a satellite interview of estranged husband Michael.

3. Tina Fey: Anyone who knows what the what is going on knows that Liz Lemon's "Dealbreakers" fictional book/talk show pilot would totally crush. Not poking fun at Gayle King? That's a dealbreaker!


4. Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore: The king and queen of Twitter would come equipped with a combined audience of (as of this morning) 6,303,431 followers. Hey, network suits, that's nothing to sneeze at.

5. Kate Gosselin: We already know she's shopping a talk show with southern cooking heavyweight Paula Deen and now that "Kate Plus 8" is officially donezo, she'll be needing to move on to a new project. What, is she supposed to stay home all day!?!?!

Not feeling it? Add your suggestions below...

(All photos: AP)

By Liz Kelly  | November 20, 2009; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
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Comments

Well, this is obvious since Oprah mentioned it herself in her interview, but...
Sarah Palin.

However, let's remember that O's not going anywhere until 2011. So tastes may (we hope) change by then.

Posted by: Roxie1 | November 20, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I deliberately avoided commenting on Oprah's planned direct Assumption into heaven on this AM's mix, but now I am forced to.

Clearly, NO ONE can replace the magnificent Ms. O, at least not in her own mind. but, now that Ahnuld has ruled out another run for elective office, Maria Shriver is probably available.

Tina Fey should not take a step down, and clearly no one gives a flying eff what Kate's favorite things are (herself, herself, and herself...maybe I should rethink this).

Posted by: reddragon1 | November 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Reddragon - you're right. Don't put Tina Fey on a show like this. She's so brilliant where she is. Why would you put a brilliant writer of scripted comedies into a live chat format?

Posted by: Roxie1 | November 20, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

/lurk

Jennifer Aniston. Give her something else to do, end her pity party, give her a semi-charitable outlet.

First show's guests: Brangelina and, of course, Jerry Springer.

Posted by: eet7e | November 20, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

eet7e, great idea. Jen can always discuss the guy she's NOT with, the same way Oprah talked about "Steadman" all the time. I think Steadman is a Cockney-line contraction of "inStead (of a) man."

Posted by: reddragon1 | November 20, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

How about the Sweet Millions pigs, puppies, kittens, and chicks? Dub in voices, design little costumes, they already have a theme song, why it'll be the biggest hit ever! Hooray for baby animals and their ability to sell!

Posted by: shapiromarilyn | November 20, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bad news folks. She is only ending the broadcast television version of her show. It will go on at her network. We will NEVER be truly rid of this woman.

Posted by: epjd | November 20, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, are we talking again about Oprah ending her syndicated show? Sorry, I was too busy dancing around the office singing, "Happy Days Are Here Again."

As for Liz's suggestions: No, no, no, interesting thought, and um, no.

Ashton and Demi certainly would bring in different demographics -- you know, the twentysomethings who loved "Dude, Where's My Car?" and their forty-plus parents who loved "General Hospital."

I like the Maria Shriver idea, but only if she chats on the show with her relatives via a special "Maria's on a Call in the Car" feature.

How about Carrie Fisher?

The idea of a successor to O (besides P, that is) begs for a celebrity couple a la Regis and Joy/Kelly/Kathie Lee. But not Maria and Arnold (her good, him not so good). Pair two former co-stars who worked well together with a couch big enough for a couple guests to sit on, then let the magic happen.

Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver
Robin Wright and Cary Elwes
Al Pacino and Diane Keaton (kidding!!!)

I mean, if Heidi Klum can host a TV show (and she can barely get through the opening to "Project Runway" each week without butchering the name of "Mary Claire" magazine), SURELY any of them can.

And reddragon, good one re: "inStead (of a) man"! Nice.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

GOOP

Posted by: MStreet1 | November 20, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Agree on the No's for KateG and Tina Fey. Tina is brilliant where she is; Kate needs to go away on a permanent basis, please let's not encourage her to do anything else! Dina Lohan would make a decent replacement for Jerry Springer, if he ever decides to retire.

How about one of the women off the morning news shows? I think ABC is grooming Robin Roberts for something bigger than Good Morning America - she's recently had an evening interview special. Planning ahead?

Or maybe this is an opportunity for Hoda Katb to get away from that venal Gifford female.

Posted by: northgs | November 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

northgs,

I am so there with you on Gifford. She's a total airhead compared to someone who is grounded and real on daytime TV, like Kelly Ripa

Posted by: reddragon1 | November 20, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

There's only one.

Sarah Palin.

That way, you'll have the Palin Women's Network (PWN) going against the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Only kids 14 and under will get this cultural reference.

Posted by: bs2004 | November 20, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's "replacing" Orpah Gail Winfrey ... Harpo is just pulling the show from daytime.

I do wonder if you're going to have more African American women (Wendy Williams, Gayle King, Bertice Berry, Wanda Sykes, Farai Chideya) on TV afterwards ...

Posted by: bs2004 | November 20, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Following in the footsteps of Jimmy Fallon... I'm going to go with Chris Kattan. He can hit guests with oversize tennis racquets - it'll be almost as funny.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | November 20, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Oprah Winfrey has a talk show? I thought she was a promoter of books and superfluous fashion products.

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