Talk showtelevision or radio program where an audience comes together to discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host. Often, talk shows feature a panel of guests, usually consisting of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that episode.
Political talk shows of all sorts are common on radio stations across the country ranging from local radio talk stations in major metropolitan areas, to nationally syndicated radio talk shows such as the Rush Limbaugh show. Popular radio "shock jock" Howard Stern also hosts a talk show that is syndicated nationally.
Politics are hardly the only subject of talk shows, however. Other radio talk show subjects include Car Talk, hosted by NPR, and a talk show hosted by Art Bell which discusses topics of the paranormal, conspiracy theories, fringe science, and the just plain weird.
Talk shows have been broadcast on television since the earliest days of the medium. Late-night talk shows including The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman have aired for decades, featuring celebrity guests and comedy sketches. TV news pioneer Edward R. Murrow hosted a talk show entitled Small World in the late 1950s; since then, political TV talk shows have predominately aired on Sunday mornings.
Networks enjoy talk shows because they are generally inexpensive to produce. However, they rely heavily on the personality of the talk show hosts, which sometimes makes that host a valuable commodity. There have also been cases in which a person who is skilled in acting has proven to be spectacularly bad talk show host as in the case of a short lived talk show host Chevy Chase.
See also: talk radio
List of Talk Shows (TV)
Talk show currently off the air