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Tyra's Banking on Daytime Success

(Posted September 9, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( Like an athlete preparing for a big game, Tyra Banks has been watching tape of herself lately.

She's not, however, scouting weaknesses to exploit in an opponent. Instead, the supermodel and creator/star of "America's Next Top Model" has been looking for ways to raise her own game in her newest job: daytime talk-show host.

"The Tyra Banks Show" premieres Monday (Sept. 12) in syndication. Banks has been taping shows for a few weeks now -- while also dealing with post-production on the fifth edition of "Top Model" -- and says she's figuring out what makes a good host.

"I'm learning to trust my instincts. That's so important to me," she says. "I'll tape a show, and I'm a perfectionist -- I'll look at it backward and forward. And I see that when I don't trust my instincts, I don't feel right looking at it."

She cites as an example a guest she thought was "acting kind of fake." She let it slide, even though "In my head I'm going, 'Oh gosh, they're acting fake, I don't want my show to be a fake show. This is supposed to be a real place, with real emotion.'"

The next time that happened, she didn't keep her reaction to herself. "I called her on it," she says. "And it just took me out of my head and put me on that couch with her. I was like, 'You're being fake, and I know you are, but your story is true. So I need you to be real with me, and you can feel safe with me. My mom told me if I see it, say it."

"The Tyra Banks Show" is one of two big syndicated launches this fall, the other being Martha Stewart's talk/how-to hybrid "Martha." The two may be tied together since they premiere on the same day, but Banks is going after a decidedly different audience than that for Stewart's show, or that of most other daytime talkers.

"It's actually for women of my generation," the 31-year-old Banks says. "I know that as an 18-year-old I always wanted to know what a 25- or 30-year-old woman was thinking and doing. So I know we'll definitely reach younger women, and older women as well. But the bulk of guests are going to be around my age range."

Banks hopes to cover topics both serious -- family issues and teen self-esteem among them -- and silly: A promo tape for the show features Tyra feeding instructions to a girl trying to get a guy's number at a bar. And, befitting her other career, hers is the only talk show around with a runway on it set.

"The runway symbolizes something in society that's kind of intimidating, very intimidating to women," she says. Not on her show, though. The idea is to "not make it an intimidating thing but make it something that women can get on and have fun and feel empowered.

"If they do something or share something, or make a life change, they can get on there and kind of celebrate that. They have so much fun they don't want to get off."

Source: Zap2it

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