Make room on the couch for Patricia Heaton.
The award-winning actress is in negotiations with Buena Vista Television to front her own daytime talk show next year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Taking its cue from The View on ABC, the show would feature a multiple-host format, although there's no word yet on who gets the coveted Joy Behar slot.
Whether you work the day shift or night shift, you will still get a chance to see Heaton on TV. She is also set to star in an as-yet-untitled ABC sitcom next year, playing a widowed mom who gets active in the local PTA. The show is expected to be on the schedule when the network announces its fall slate in May.
The sitcom is being produced by Touchstone Television which, like Buena Vista, is a Disney-owned entity.
If the proposed chatfest takes shape in 2007, Heaton, 48, could follow in the footsteps of morning show darling Kelly Ripa, who is also working a double shift as star of the ABC series Hope & Faith and cohost of Live with Regis & Kelly, also a Buena Vista show. The proposed Heaton talk show would reportedly be slotted between Live and The View on ABC affiliates.
Another familiar prime-time face who will try her hand at daytime is Megan Mullally, who is set to host The Megan Mullally Show this fall after Will & Grace wraps up in May. While Mullally has always been a hoot as pill-popping socialite Karen Walker, winning an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role, she may have to woo a new set of viewers once she's forced to leave the squeaky voice and martini glass at home.
Heaton earned two Emmys for playing the "I've had it up to here" wife and mother Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond and has also starred in a host of made-for-TV movies. But a talk show will give her a chance to play what is sometimes considered the hardest role in Hollywood--herself.
Whatever happens with Heaton's upcoming sitcom or her daytime venture, we're hard-pressed to believe that either could garner the kind of review that Ray Romano's just-released documentary, 95 Miles to Go, attracted from the Hollywood Reporter. "Everybody May Soon Hate Raymond," the trade's headline pronounced about the film, which chronicles Romano while he's on the road doing standup.
In other Raymond alum news, Doris Roberts is getting positive buzz for her role as a widow who rediscovers her purpose in life in the Hallmark Channel movie Our House, which premieres Saturday. And everybody's favorite jealous older brother, Brad Garrett, will star in the Fox comedy 'Til Death next season.