Dr. Oz looks to continue Oprah’s tradition of serving audience in new season
Is it possible to diagnose your own cancer? Is apple juice toxic? Dr. Oz will share his findings to these and other questions concerning your health when Season 3 returns Monday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. on CTV. The two-time Emmy Award-winning host will be moving to Oprah Winfrey’s old time slot in many regions and Dr. Oz spoke to reporters about the coveted spot and what’s in store for the new season in a recent conference call. Excerpts are below.
On taking over Oprah’s timeslot:
Dr. Oz: You know, we are going to make a few changes. I had a long conversation with Oprah about this over the summer and we were just talking about how there's a lot of overlap between our viewers but it's not 100 per cent.
And we'd like to make sure that people who used to watch the Oprah Show would enjoy joining our program as well but also we want to make sure that some other viewers who may not have normally watched her show can quickly adjust to a change in our program.
So as one concrete example, we're going to do a couple more shows than we have historically done that are single topic shows, which is more typical of how Oprah would handle a topic. She'd do a robust hour around a theme and she wouldn’t be concerned that her audience might get tired of hearing about something after two segments.
And if you remember our show, we would pretty consistently shift from topic to topic just because we want to make sure that we're offering a peripatetic audience something new every segment so that they'll be interested in what we're talking about.
On some of the topics that will be covered in Season 3:
Dr. Oz: We're doing (a show) on ovarian cancer early in the season. I ran a free screening down in Dallas. We've talked to women about the fact that they can diagnose their own cancer much more early than we can normally find it in organized medicine. That's our best chance for being able to cure you.
The survival rates, by the way, go from 30% to 95% if you can use these basic symptoms like early bloating and early satiety and some belly discomfort, which are key clues.
So in the screening we found some abnormalities. We did a show around that. And instead of just doing a segment or two about this clinic, we actually blew out the whole hour talking about different ways you can prevent cancer, the anti-ovarian cancer diet, you know, different -- we made the stories a bit more robust.
I mean, lots of things that we found to be effective for our audience to learn about and we took advantage of the fact that we had a pretty good series of stories, which is what Oprah would typically do.
And I think as I mature as a host I need to get more comfortable taking those stories and intertwining them with the information we give, which is, again, something that Oprah does so elegantly and we've been moving towards the first two years getting ready for an opportunity to do this in Season 3…
I'll give you one other example if I could, a topic like whether there's toxins in our apple juice. I mean, that becomes more of a big town hall event rather than me just telling you that we did a couple tests on, which we did, on these different apple juices…
I am very concerned about apple juice and there are things we're going to talk about that, well, you will find riveting. I did when I learned about it. We did. We just taped the show and I'm still recovering, believe me.
On replacing Oprah in so many time periods:
Dr. Oz: First, it's a great honor, obviously. But I also feel that I have a responsibility to offer the same kind of service that she has afforded to her audience for 25 years.
I mean, fundamentally, in having done about 80 shows with her, I saw this from the inside as well. What really allowed her to fire on all cylinders is she was always, always passionate about the fact that she was coming into your home as your guest and you were allowing her to share an hour with you. So she wanted to serve you.
And sometimes she was bringing you things you didn't want to particularly hear about but she thought it was really important for you to know about them. And over time, you trusted that if Oprah thought you needed to hear about it you'd take a few minutes to listen to it, even though normally, if you were looking at the listing, you know, you might not have cared about that theme.
And I think that's the -- that's what an iconic TV host has to do is become enough of a confidante to you that your trust their judgment in what you ought to pay attention to that day.
And I think that's a responsibility that we've inherited. So to be of service, I have to stretch a little bit. I have to get you comfortable talking about things that maybe wouldn't have -- some of them are, you know, fun and light hearted. We do people shows on poop and pee and things like that.
But, you know, much of it is stuff that, again, you wouldn't normally talk about ovarian cancer. You might not be focused on, you know, a worldwide pandemic that most people who study this area believe will come in our lifetime and could be very destructive to the fabric of society.
On the other hand, if I think it's really important for you to know enough about this, that you build some muscle memory, that you understand what these issues are so that you don't panic when you hear about them, then overtime, hopefully, you'll trust that I haven't let you down before, I'll make it enjoyable, informative and transformative and so you'll stick around for the hour to pay attention to it.
On talk shows replacing the daytime TV landscape and whether he foresaw himself doing a show like this:
Dr. Oz: I did not see this as part of my future. It was mostly Oprah's and my wife's planning who had much bigger visions for what I would do in television than what I did.
I think that as the fabric of society has unwound a bit and the natural ability of all of us in the little towns that we used to live in to always know our doctor and know our lawyer and understand what the judge was thinking and have an intimate relationship with the police officer and be involved with what was -- the societal leaders were doing, as that began to unwind we still had that craving deep in our souls to have that connection.
And so if you look at what happened in medicine, the connection that we traditionally had with our family doctor who knew all about us, not just whether we were depressed or not but he knew about our family history and why that could have caused us to be depressed.
He knew a little bit about how our mom dealt with our illnesses, which is really why we're a hypochondriac or not, you know, or stoic or whatever. All that began to fall away.
So I think there's a true service offered by television, when it's well done, to recreate some of those connections and to backfill some of the information, you know, void that occurs when you don't have easy access to a healer in your life.
And it's not just for doctor shows. I think it may be true for other forms of information during daytime as well because people historically were able to have a, you know, sidewalk conversation with a lawyer in their town or a doctor in their town or others who had information that maybe you want to have to better your life.
On what people are doing right when it comes to their health:
Dr. Oz: Well, the biggest thing we're doing right across the nation and for the first time this past year there seems to be a stabilization of childhood obesity, so parents are beginning to realize that the kids are going to treat themselves the way you treat yourself.
So if you eat too much food they're going to eat too much food. So I'm thinking that we're getting that message out and parents, as they naturally will, are beginning to make major changes because they want to protect what they value the most in their lives, which is their children. So that's all good.
I still think we have a very stressed out country where there's information overload. People are really not wanting to take time from their lives to put an extra quarter in and go first class.
And if you don't automate your life a little bit, if you don't take time to plan out from the simple things of what you're going to snack and what you're going to make on Sunday nights, you can eat it all week long, or what kind of curtains you have to make your room dark enough that you get to sleep at night, if you live in a city.
These are things that can cause long-term continuous nagging issues. And the fundamental issue that happens in people's homes, I think, still is that folks don't put themselves first.
And it's not that they should be selfishly putting themselves first but, especially for the women in America, who've also often feel ignored, they want to be stoic and they don't want to complain. And so they end up with major issues that go on for years that are unaddressed.