Can Jeff Probst survive the daytime talk show war?

Jeff Probst has presided over the CBS primetime hit “Survivor” since 2000 and has now done a deal with the Tiffany network to host a talker for their distribution arm. This new daytime talk show is set to debut in the fall of 2012, the same time as the ABC-backed gabfest hosted by former CBS News anchor Katie Couric. Also expected to premiere then are talkers fronted by Rikki Lake and Bethenney Frankel.

The latter, a reality TV star, has paired up with Ellen DeGeneres, the reigning queen of the Daytime Emmys. Her self-titled talker just picked up its second consecutive Daytime Emmy as Best Entertainment Talk Show. While it lost its first two bids in this newly created category in 2008 and 2009 to “Rachael Ray,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” had won the combined Talk Show race for four years running from 2004 to 2007. DeGeneres won four in a row as Best Talk Show Host (2005 – 2008) before being defeated by the ladies of “The View” in 2009. Since then, she has not submitted herself.

Jeff Probst has owned the Best Reality Show Host category at the Emmy Awards since it was created in 2008. The “Survivor” host has edged out emcees of other top-rated reality competitions series including three-time also-rans Tom Bergeon (“Dancing With the Stars”), Heidi Klum (“Project Runway’) and Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”). In a recent webcam chat, Probst told Gold Derby he credits his winning streak to being “so intimately involved in everything” on “Survivor.”

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CBS says his new one-hour show will cover a wide range of topics ranging from top newsmakers to families facing challenges. In the announcement, Probst said, “I’m fascinated with human nature and thrilled that this show will allow me the opportunity to connect with real people and explore their stories on a personal level. As I continue with ‘Survivor,’ I am excited to extend my relationship with CBS with this new adventure in the world of daytime.”

And CBS exec Aaron Meyerson added, “Anyone who has seen Jeff on ‘Survivor’ knows how he connects with people, and has an instinct that makes him a natural and compelling host for daytime. With the same adventure Jeff approaches his own life, the show will take the same path. Whether it’s a newsmaker-of-the-day, a celebrity or ordinary folks, Jeff will go further than typical discussion. The show will cover a range of topics from relationships to human interest. And like Jeff, the show will encourage action, change and discovery. We are very fortunate to have him.”


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