The precursor to all the daytime talk shows that arose during the 1980's and 90's. Phil Donahue's show started off similar to other shows of its day, featuring celebrities and musical acts,... See full summary »
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20 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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 Himself - Host / ... (96 episodes, 1967-1995)
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The precursor to all the daytime talk shows that arose during the 1980's and 90's. Phil Donahue's show started off similar to other shows of its day, featuring celebrities and musical acts, but he soon started pushing the envelope by discussing health and social topics previously considered taboo. Eventually, the popularity of this approach proved to be his downfall, as he was soon competing with host such as Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jesse Raphael and Geraldo Rivera, who were willing to stoop to new depths in search of sensational topics. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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6 November 1967 (UK)  »

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Donahue  »

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1.33 : 1
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Don Grady (of "My Three Sons") composed the theme song for the Donahue show. See more »

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Referenced in Forever, Lulu (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Best Talk Show Ever
12 August 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Even though it was canceled eight years ago, the fact that it ran for 26 years should tell you that this was the godfather of modern day talk shows. Lets face it: the majority of talk shows whether on TV or radio suck. Why? Because the hosts rarely go after serious topics that affect people in everyday life, and just as rarely ask hard, tough in-your-face questions. Lot's of these shows are nothing but chocolate pudding formats that kill an hour in the time slot. Phil Donahue's fire and desire was way ahead of it's time in 1970. But in '70, at the height of the Vietnam war, nobody else on T.V. was even thinking about doing this. The talk shows at the time were still left over, outdated junk with the 1950's style to sugarcoat what was happening in the real world and make people feel good. For example, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, there was no talk show on TV that kept the people informed about what was going. The TV industry was still sugarcoating these topics by showing people MY THREE SONS and BEWITCHED. If Donahue would've been on the air in 1962, you can bet he would've covered the Cuban missile crises. This guy was a breath of fresh air to the TV industry in 1970, because you still had these candy talk shows like SONNY & CHER and THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY. I started watching Donahue in the early 80's and stayed with the show all the way until '96 when it was canceled. I used to love when the guy would get up and walk around with his microphone so the audience could ask questions to the guests who appeared on the show. Most of the topics that Donahue covered were good, important topics that many people were interested in. In 1982, when missing children in America was becoming a serious problem, Donahue covered the story with deftness. The guy just had a knack for asking important questions. The only other host since the late 80's who I can think of that even comes close to Donahue is Geraldo. Whether you agree with the guy or not, and most of the time I don't, you have to give him credit for asking hard questions. RIVERA LIVE on CNBC was a fabulous show that I watched all the time. Geraldo would bring on strong guests like Joseph DiGenova and Alan Dershowitz. Those two guys had great debates over the years whenever they came one at night. Besides Geraldo, and maybe Ted Koppel, no one else on TV does this and that's shameful. But then again, no one else on TV has had the success of Donahue, Geraldo and Koppel. I highly doubt there will ever be another talk show on TV again like Donahue. I didn't watch this guy's show to relish in his politics. Just like Rivera, I don't agree with Donahue on the majority of topics. I watched his show to be informed and listen to guests answer the tough questions, no matter who they were. Thank you Mr. Donahue for 26 strong years.


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