Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Survivor host and newlywed Jeff Probst will be add a new title to his resume: talk show host. His syndicated The Jeff Probst Show enters the chat fray on September 10, along with fellow newcomers Ricki Lake, Steve Harvey and Katie Couric. The Probst effort comes from CBS Television Distribution. And during a panel this afternoon at TCA featuring the perpetually energetic and upbeat Probst and his exec producer Amy Coleman, he detailed how his new daytime talker won’t be about celebrities or conflict. “If you’re looking for Jerry (Springer) or Maury (Povich), this isn’t your show”, he said. “We aren’t looking for people fighting onstage or paternity testing. If you’re looking for something new, that’s where we are.” He added that his defining role models for the new gig are Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. “My best skill as an interviewer is, I really listen,” Probst noted, “I would never ask a guest a question that I wouldn’t be prepared to answer myself.” He lated added “I’m not going to chase a rating. I just want to do a show that I’m really and truly invested in.”
Perhaps the most innovative element Probst plans to bring to the table involves his green room, dubbed a “party room” on the show. A clip before his panel detailed how the show will become a haven of pampering haven before the taping, featuring massage chairs, a hair and makeup station, snacks, a photo booth and laptops for social media connection. Audience members will have an opportunity to hang there before and after the show. “It’s the best and most unique idea we’ve had,” he said. “The original thought for it came from Jimmy Kimmel’s green room. I love what he did. Jimmy Fallon too. They both have this feeling of welcome for the audience. I wanted to bring that to my show as well.”
Probst also addressed his Emmy snub this year. After having won four consecutive years for top reality show host (in 2008, ’09, ’10, ’11), he failed even to make the category cut with a nom this time. But he claimed not to be disappointed. “I’m just so grateful for the Emmy love that I’ve had,” he said. “I didn’t feel snubbed at all. I’m happy for those who are nominated. It’s a blast to go to the Emmys — and it’s really fun to win.”