Rachael Ray, Oye Vey! Why'd You Pick Diane?

9/18/2006 4:53 PM PDT
Princess of Perk Rachael Ray brought her act to talk-show land this morning, and did her best as a chat neophyte to attract, presumably, a younger female audience by welcoming as her very first guest that unmistakable icon of hip young females everywhere ... Diane Sawyer?

Nothing against the always-elegant and estimable Ms. Sawyer, but surely there might've been someone, somewhere who might've added a bit more star sizzle to the first edition of a nationally-syndicated talk show (Megan Mullally, for instance, had Will Ferrell in skivvies on for her first installment.) Perhaps the boss -- Oprah Winfrey -- didn't want her own appearance tomorrow on the show (and her own premiere) to be overshadowed.

As it was, Ray did her best to combine elements of just about every hosted studio-audience show in existence, including, in descending order of awkwardness, a little coffee-talk time at the top, some eyebrow-raising service segments (cleaning lettuce in the washing machine), and Ray making her trademark quick-prep meals, now whittled down to seven ( from 30) minutes.