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Ray of Hope

Rachael Ray launches her syndicated talk show this week.

A hit talk show is a golden ticket for the host who can make it work, even in the second tier. Look at Maury. He's not challenging Oprah anytime soon, but he still rakes in megabucks.

Or course, the landscape is littered with the bodies of those who couldn't make the transition from whatever they were doing to trying to capture the daytime audience.

I must have been under a rock, but I thought Ray was something of an undiscovered gem as host of that Food Net show where she uses up her $40 while perkily plugging restaurants and gift shops. But I was in the grocery store tonight and saw her magazine right there between Oprah's and Martha's, though her name was appended tastefully to the title, Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Apparently she has written scads of books and is something of a cottage industry unto herself already.

I wish I had a lifestyle, cause then I could have my own lifestyle magazine, too. I'm afraid there's not much call for tips on what to hall your mountain of dirty clothes to the laundromat in when your washer breaks and the guy delivering the new one gets in an accident.

Anyway, what I am trying to say, though I have so far failed to say it, is that, I think Ray has a good shot at success in daytime syndication.

Either she has a natural enthusiasm that is infectious or she sells that persona well enough that it doesn't matter whether it is genuine or not.

By John Eggerton