1. Oprah Winfrey Initially The Oprah Winfrey Show was just another talk show when it debuted in 1986. But what made it stand out and rise above the rest was the show’s host. Now The Oprah Winfrey Show is only a small part of Oprah’s empire, and in 2011, will cease to exist in its current format. But not because the show is cancelled, Oprah is moving onto something bigger than her own show. She’s starting her own network, appropriately called OWN. 2. Arsenio Hall The Arsenio Hall Show revolutionized late night television. Just ask Bill Clinton who many say would have never won the 1992 presidential election had it not been for his surprise appearance on that show. 3. Mo’Nique Unlike Arsenio, The Mo’Nique Show has a lot more competition in that late night slot. But the Oscar-winning comedienne has been able to hold her own against, pulling in her own unique audience on BET. While the rest of America was tuning into the drama of the late night talk show wars between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, plenty others tuned them out and tuned into Mo’Nique. 4. Tyra Banks A show about service as much as it was celebrity, through The Tyra Show, Tyra used her beauty and brains for good. What Oprah is to the stay-at-home moms of America, Tyra was to the teenagers of America who came home after school and needed a big sister to understand them. 5. Wendy Williams The popular radio DJ has successfully taken her format and gift of gossip to the small screen. Though Vh1 would air her radio show, The Wendy Williams Show has shown the queen of talk radio can also sit down on a couple of comfortable couch chairs and ask questions with the best of them. 6. Whoopi Goldberg The moderator of The View is fearless and isn’t afraid to call it like she sees it. And if someone else is calling it like she sees it on the show, she’s not afraid to retort or even walk away. 7. Montell Williams As a former Marine, and a victim to multiple scoliosis, Williams — an Emmy Award winning talk show host — used his show as a platform to bring awareness to various social issues in an aggressive style. 8. Star Jones The controversial panel member on The View during it’s early years was one of the sharpest and most entertaining women on the panel. 9. Tavis Smiley Many people were shocked when BET let Tavis Smiley’s contract as host of BET Tonight expire, but the charming media personality has landed on his feet. Now the host of his very own PBS show, Tavis Smiley, Smiley is doing what he does best, interviewing the people we’ve always wanted to talk to ourselves, asking them the questions we’ve always wanted to ask.
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