EXCLUSIVE: Ricki Lake Returning to Daytime

Twentieth Television is officially in development on a talk show starring Ricki Lake, the company said Wednesday.

"Ricki is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her candid, straight talk sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. With an enormous fan base, that represents all ages and ethnicities, we are thrilled to develop a daytime talk show emphasizing Ricki's fresh and enhanced perspective," said Stephen Brown, Twentieth's senior vice president of programming and development, in a statement.

Last month, B&C reported that Lake was shopping a new talker. At the time, several distributors - including Twentieth, NBCUniversal and CBS Television Distribution - were considering the opportunity.

The hour-long show is in development with an eye toward a fall 2012 launch on broadcast stations, cable networks or a combination of both. Distributors expect the 2012 market for new shows to be more competitive than it's been in recent years. Besides Lake, the industry is waiting to learn whether Katie Couric will launch a new syndicated talker and with what distributor.

Lake starred in her own talk show that was distributed and produced by Sony Pictures Television from 1993 - 2004. That show was aimed at younger women, but Lake, now 42 and a single mom, plans to expand the show to include such topics as family, marriage, parenting and divorce, as well as subjects close to Lake's heart, like weight-loss (Lake lost 125 pounds in 2007), health and nutrition.

"It has been very fulfilling for the past seven years to focus my energy on advocacy work on behalf families and children," said Lake in a statement. "Now, I am excited to return to my roots and work with Twentieth Television to develop a talk show that will give me an opportunity to share my experiences and reconnect with audiences."

Since her first talk show ended, Lake has remained busy in television and film. In 2006, she hosted CBS' limited series, Gameshow Marathon, in which classic game shows were recreated with celebrity contestants. She also produced a documentary called The Business of Being Born, about home birth and midwifery, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. The documentary featured footage from Lake's own home-birthing experience. In 2009, she replaced Sharon Osbourne on the third season of VH1's Charm School.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.