Oprah's Cutie Pie Is Coming To SABC 3

Yep, Nate Berkus is coming to Sabc 3 as part of the new year line-up for the channel.

The Nate Berkus Show is the latest spin-off from The Oprah Winfrey Show, with the design guru following in the footsteps of Dr Phil on SABC2 and Dr Oz on SABC3 who all had their start on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.

According to US reports the show did well when it premiered on the 13th September 2010. It debuted with a 1.1 rating, which was the highest rating for a new daytime talk show, although the rating showed only half of what the ratings for Dr. Oz was. No doubt Nate was a big favourite with Oprah fans. 

I personally remember the episode when he was talking to Oprah about the events that led to the death of his lover Fernando in the Tsunami as one of the most memorable The Oprah Winfrey Show episodes. Don't tell anyone but I still tear up whenever I watch it on my Oprah 20th Anniversary Collection DVD.

The show, which is barely a year old, hasn't been immune of controversy. Turns out cutie-pie might not be as cute as Oprah wanted us to believe. According to media reports, when the ratings started floundering after just a month of being on air, Nate (well let's be fair maybe his producers did it without his knowledge) resorted to shady maneuvers to get guests on the show. 

You have to understand that securing the right guest for your show is a big deal in the US. Talk show hosts have been known to compete fiercely to have certain stars appear on their show first especially when there is a big buzz around that particular star. 

It's reported that Nate and his team were so hell bent on securing an unidentified guest that they pulled some minor smear campaign on their competitors, Martha Steward and Wendy Williams, with this pitch; 
·Nate delivers more than one million more viewers than Martha's Hallmark show. Nate averages about 1.2 million total viewers so far this season, while Martha's talk show averages only about 220,000 total viewers. 
·This November, Nate delivers a 0.6 rating among Women 25-54, building its time periods from a 0.5 base, up +20 percent over last November.
·Wendy Williams also delivers a 0.6 rating among Women 25-54, but that is down from its time periods' 0.7 last year, -14 percent.

Of course Nate and his team deny this and there is no way of proving that this is genuine. But that didn't stop bloggers and reviewers from chastising him for being tacky. Perez Hilton moaned;
"Wow! classy move, bb! The real question is, however, if the kind of people to whom he sends that kind of pitch actually respond positively to it! Personally, we'd find it a little tacky!"
Well unlike in South Africa where shows stay on air for as long as the channel wants them to be even though they have poor ratings (cough) Selimathunzi, in the States if you do not hit the right target ratings numbers, you get canned. So I guess if the competition is that tight one would do everything he/she can to spruce up my show too. Wouldn't you?

Will the charm he captured viewers on Oprah with resonate with viewers on his own show? Will South Africans fall in love with Mr Cutey-Pie and actually save the channel's dismal ratings? We'll have to wait and see.

Catch The Nate Berkus Show on SABC 3, January 02 (yep next year) at 14h00

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