Warner Brothers executives say their research shows that audiences think The Ellen DeGeneres Show is as good as The Oprah Winfrey Show -- good news, because Winfrey announced she's ditching her program next year.
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NBC has said it will keep Ellen on its 10 owned-and-operated stations through 2014, which is a clear sign it thinks she is indeed heir to Oprah's daytime throne, according to the New York Times. The possible succession from Winfrey to DeGeneres could also put daytime TV's focus back in L.A., where the latter's show is taped (Winfrey tapes in Chicago).
Research reportedly shows that the oft-dancing DeGeneres is beloved by her audience because she is "upbeat and inspirational," according to the Times. And Warner's research indicates, arguably, that DeGeneres is more likable than Oprah. Still, DeGeneres gets less than half the daily viewers Winfrey attracts.
The 52-year-old DeGeneres was guest judge on this season's American Idol.
LABizObserved, where we spotted the story, notes that DeGeneres' show is a hot ticket for would-be audience members.