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Daytime Execs and Experts Contemplate Ellen's Heir Apparent

Now that The Ellen DeGeneres Show has wrapped, which chatfest will take its place as a daytime staple? CNN Business asked academics and execs alike about which host could fill Ellen DeGeneres' shoes and what the future of daytime looks like.

It might not be even possible to have a new EllenRobert Thompson, professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, stated:

[Ellen] was one of the anchor stores in the mall of daytime television. I think in many ways, she might be sort of the last of that era.

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Thompson added that Ellen was a product of a period when talk shows were pop culture phenomena, which is different from the modern era. But he still sees potential in a newcomer, sharing:

Kelly Clarkson is doing pretty well. I guess she might be what you'd call the crown prince.

The current crop of talk shows face unique challenges when it comes to getting and retaining viewers. Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury at Lionsgate, wrote in an e-mail:

Daytime can still be profitable to produce for us, despite there being fewer viewers available across all of television due to audience fragmentation. Our primary buyers are TV stations, and it is essential for them to have strong daytime schedules leading into their highly profitable late afternoon newscasts.