The past week has seen two of the bigger names on television either leave or announce their intentions to leave.
• First off, Jon & Kate (and their eight) departed TLC on Monday, as their reality series concluded.
I had never seen the show prior to Monday, and I have to say that I don’t know what the attraction was. Jon complained about having eight kids, Kate complained about having eight kids, they both complained about the paparazzi which they helped bring into their lives, the end.
Granted, the show has wildly changed course since it debuted, what with the couple’s marital woes and string of publicity. But in the episode, Kate didn’t even have one of the hissy fits she’s famous for, and it was still lacking for anything that made for compelling viewing. I honestly could not care less about what happens to either of these attention whores. Life’s hard with eight kids, no doubt, but stop making a spectacle about it.
So, good riddance. My only regret is that they’ll undoubtedly milk every TV show, interview and other cash-in opportunity that’s available while they still have some of their 15 minutes left.
• And Oprah Winfrey announced last week that she’ll hang up her microphone in 2011, giving up her talk show to pursue other interests in cable television.
I hate the hardcore Oprah fans who blindly follow her every word and turn off their minds in her midst. But Oprah has had a greatly positive influence in her quarter-century of doing talk shows. She’s made a difference in a lot of ways, and her show was one of the few good things about daytime television. She will be missed there.
Not that the richest woman on the planet can disappear, mind you. She’ll be visible in her other work and will continue making the world a better place. But she was the person who made modern talk shows what they are and carried great clout in nearly every circle (I requested to review a sample of a glasses-type device that projects movies to review for the paper, and they told me that Oprah got the only sample that would be issued).
If any good comes of this, it’s that Oprah’s most fervent fans might start thinking for themselves again. But regardless, Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray or anyone else who might step into her spot won’t be quite the same.