Rachael Ray’s talk show takes its bow
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Television food personality Rachael Ray’s syndicated talk show has ended.
The show’s last new edition aired May 24, 2023. Stations will have the option of airing repeat episodes through the end of the summer.
The show, which was in its 17th season, was originally produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. Appearances of “Oprah” helped increase Ray’s fame, as did her catch phrases such as “EVOO” for “extra virgin olive oil” and “yum-o.”
She also had a longtime deal with Food Network to host “30 Minute Meals” and a variety of other specials and guest appearances on other programs.
The ending of “Rachael” comes the same year that another Oprah-inspired talker is ending production, “Dr. Phil.” Although the show had since transferred production to host Phil McGraw’s own company, his fame is primarily attributed to appearances on “Oprah.”
Another Winfrey protege, Dr. Mehmet Oz, had his talk show, also once a Harpo production, canceled in 2022 after he announced an ultimately unsuccessful GOP run for Senate in Pennsylvania.
The end of “Rachael” means that Harpo no longer produces any daily syndicated programming, with its focus now on programs for OWN and other projects.
Ray, meanwhile, said earlier that she wants to focus on her own venture, production company Free Food Studios, though it’s not immediately clear what productions she has in mind.
“Rachael” was once produced in a lavish studio that features an enormous rotating platform for audience member seating. Audience members could be rotated to face certain parts of the wraparound set that sported venues representing gardening, cooking and other topics.
It would eventually move to different sets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ray taped shows from her home and the show later introduced a scaled-down studio set that was based on the decor of that.
Ray’s exit comes at a time when syndicated programming is in a state of flux. Two longtime courtroom shows, “The People’s Court” and “Judge Mathias” are ending runs after seeing declining ratings.
Many of the syndicated shows that have ended in recent seasons did not have clear replacements lined up, which has lead to a slight increase of locally-produced lifestyle programming or expanded local news.
There’s also a general decline in the amount of syndicated programs being produced.
CBS-owned stations have been airing a 30-minute version of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” one of the few program launches that have survived in recent years, at 9:30 a.m. with a half-hour local newscast sandwiched between.
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