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Ricki Lake returns to talkshow arena

New show to bow in 2012, vie for post-Oprah bucks

Twentieth Television has a new entry in the post-Oprah yakker landscape with syndie vet Ricki Lake. Set for a 2012 debut, the show will be based in Los Angeles and focus on Lake’s personal experiences.

“Ricki is a pop-culture icon who has built a career on her candid, straight-talk sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature,” said 20th programming and development head Stephen Brown.

The daytime realm has been changing: With two long-running ABC sudsers on the way out and “Oprah” ending in May, new voices are rising, with Anderson Cooper getting strong clearances in major markets and a Katie Couric syndie show rumored to be on the way.

With the 2012 start date, Twentieth is clearly betting that a few of the newcomers won’t stick, and that Lake’s tried-and-true brand will win out.

Lake told Variety she considered an earlier start date, but decided against it.

“We needed to make the best choices and not feel rushed,” Lake said. “There were people saying, ‘Hey, can you do September 11?’ and it is possible — there’s a great pool of producers right now — but it was important to us to not rush it and to give it that time that it needed.”

The host said that she’s looking forward to getting back in the saddle. “In my old show, I was plugged in,” she said. “I was cast into it without knowing what I was doing. But now, having done it for 11 years and with so much more life experience, I think I’m going to be that much better at this job.”

Lake’s original talkshow, titled “Ricki Lake,” began in 1993 and went off the air in 2004. She has other new projects on the way: Simon & Schuster will be releasing her memoir in 2012, and October will see the followup to her docu about birth options (“The Business of Being Born”), titled “More Business of Being Born.”

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