Katie Couric In Battle to Fill Oprah's Shoes


"You can't transfer your popularity to someone else," Auletta said. "They're going to judge Rosie on her own show. She's not an extension of Oprah. Rosie is a much more opinionated person than Oprah."

O'Donnell told The Oprah Magazine that the show will be less about celebrities and more about real people and issues. "I'll focus on a single topic for one hour, things people deal with every day. Raising children. The education system in America. Autism. Relationships, health, weight, depression -- and happy stuff too, of course," she said. "I envision the show being full of love and laughter."

It remains to be seen how viewers will respond to the new O'Donnell. "There are second, third and fourth acts in life," Auletta said. "Viewers may feel differently about her tomorrow."

Martin Bashir

Former "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir, debuted his eponymously-named daytime show on MSNBC last month.

The show is similar to other daytime news programs but allows Bashir to add his spin on things with his closing segment, "Clear the Air." It's too soon to tell how well the show will do, but Auletta wonders if it will be given time to find its footing.

"The problem today is there is so much competition that people pull the plug on you really fast," he said.

Anderson Cooper

This fall, Cooper will divide his time between his nightly newscast "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN and a syndicated daytime talk show "Anderson."

Hilary Estey McLoughlin, the president of Telepictures, has compared Cooper's upcoming show to Winfrey's show "in terms of range." She told the New York Daily News that she envisions Cooper doing "an hour with a celebrity one day" and an investigation of women's rights around the world the next day.

"Anderson" will have a studio audience and feature pop culture, human interest stories, investigative reports and the occasional town hall meeting.

Cooper's advantages: "His energy and relative youth. He's a he. He's a good interviewer. He is a sympathetic character and he has empathy," Auletta said. "But then, so do Katie and Rosie."

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