Talk Show Confessions: Why Are TV's Top Hosts Getting So Honest?

by 4:50 PM PDT, September 17, 2014
Playing Talk Show Confessions: Why Are TV's Top Hosts Getting So Honest?

We're just days into the new season of TV talk shows, and it's been a week of brave and candid revelations by the biggest female voices in daytime.

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Two bombshells were dropped this week when The Talk's Julie Chen revealed that her grandfather was a polygamist and Meredith Vieira shared her experience with domestic violence. While these types of confessions were swept under the rug in the past, CNN's Brian Stelter says that nowadays sharing embarrassing or shameful secrets can benefit a television personality.

"We're in this so-called Age of Authenticity," said Brian. "So being authentic to reveal a secret about yourself goes a long way."

Brian explained the appeal for audiences, saying, "Ultimately, this is about relatability. It probably helps the ratings as well, but the hosts of these shows have to be relatable to viewers and the more they share the better."

Today was Sharon Osbourne's turn to spill a secret on The Talk. Hers was about a silly, drunken gesture that was mistaken for a suicide attempt.

"I think it's good, because then your audience can relate better with you," Sharon Osbourne told ET's Kevin Frazier during the audience warm-up period of the show taping.

VIDEO: Julie Chen's Bombshell Revelation

"In general, people have a secret, but we're all dying to tell it," added Julie Chen. "After I told my secret I had co-workers and friends call up and tell me similar stories."

Aisha Tyler agreed, saying, "I think you unburden yourself. I think it's cathartic, and it does connect people, because everybody has stuff they've gone through."

Dr. Phil, who knows plenty about connecting with viewers, also has a special show planned, as he will be interviewing Ray Rice's former Baltimore Ravens teammate Chris Johnson about the NFL's domestic violence issue.

"There's gonna be a lot of revelations on tomorrow's show that are going to catch people up on where Ray and Janay Rice are," said Dr. Phil.