TV talk shows are always battling to book the best guests — the biggest stars. But is that really what people tune in to see?
Nope. Not on a regular basis, anyway. We watch because we like the host.
And that’s good news for Drew Barrymore, who’s incredibly likable. You have to think her new daytime talk show, which premieres Monday (3 p.m., KTVX-Ch. 4), stands a pretty good chance.
She’s been in the public eye for most of her life — since she co-starred in “E.T.” way back in 1982. And, like it or not, the 45-year-old has led a very public life since then. Not just with her successful acting career, but with her sometimes troubled personal life.
“You know everything about me so there’s really nothing to hide,” Barrymore said. “On this show ... I am who you think I am.”
And she isn’t worried about exposing herself and her personal life — including three marriages/three divorces, a long string of high-profile love affairs, and drug and alcohol problems that began when she was still a child — on national TV.
“You’re on the cover of the National Enquirer at 13 years old for being institutionalized, there’s not much people can throw your way. Bring it!” Barrymore said.
Her show debuts as stories alleging the current Queen of Daytime TV, Ellen DeGeneres, is really the Queen of Mean continue to proliferate. Barrymore wisely didn’t want to get drawn into a discussion of DeGeneres’ problems. But she insisted that when you watch her show, what you’ll see is the real Drew Barrymore. And, during a teleconference with TV critics, she said all the right things.
“I’ve never felt more humble and grateful in my entire life than I do right now to be alive, to have two kids that are healthy, to be amongst this crew and this team and getting this opportunity,” she said. “I never have lost sight of how lucky I am.”
And after being “blacklisted at 12” because of her substance abuse problems, “I appreciate every job I have.” And “I don’t think there’s much to hide at this point.”
UTAHN ON “DANCING WITH THE STARS” • Among the changes when the show returns on Monday (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) will be the return of six-time Mirrorball Trophy winner/Utah native Derek Hough, this time as a judge. Which makes sense, because he’s been a judge on all four seasons of NBC’s “World of Dance.”
ABC turned to Hough because longtime “DWTS” judge Len Goodman, 76, is stuck in the United Kingdom because of COVID-19 restrictions. (He’ll be appearing remotely in some capacity, not yet specified.) And it will be interesting to see if the show can get through the season without anybody catching the coronavirus.
We’re assured plenty of precautions are in place.
Hough joins returning judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. But the big “Dancing with the Stars” news is, of course, that hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were fired after last season and replaced with Tyra Banks.
Why? Because the show’s ratings have long been in decline, and network execs and producers think this will help. I’m skeptical. There may be some fans of the show who stop watching in protest over the firings — although I’m guessing more will grumble but keep watching.
But will Banks — a polarizing figure when she hosted “America’s Next Top Model” — revitalize “DWTS” and bring in boatloads of additional viewers? That seems unlikely.