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New talk show gets Austin test run

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 17, 2014

Help with life’s problems, big and small, is now as close as your TV set.

A new talk show, “The Daily Helpline,” hit Austin’s airwaves this month as part of a six-week summertime test run. If it’s successful in the ratings, producers say they’ll roll it out to stations nationwide.

Airing at 11 a.m. weekdays on Fox-owned KTBC, “The Daily Helpline” takes the place of “Real Housewives” alum Bethenny Frankel’s now-cancelled talk show.

Each weekday, hosts Spirit Clanton and Miles Adcox tackle issues viewers are facing. Episodes so far have featured everything from couples stuck in rocky relationships to a drag queen dealing with an identity crisis to a woman who feels her friends and family are constantly taking advantage of her.

“Austin isn’t without its problems,” Clanton said. “There are people who are unmotivated, hopeless and depressed.”

Over the years, Clanton has made a name for herself by popping up on several talk shows, including ones hosted by Ricki Lake and Tyra Banks. She’s also been featured on a number of cable networks, including Oxygen, WE and the Hallmark Channel.

Clanton said a Fox executive spotted some of those appearances, which led to her landing the “Daily Helpline” gig.

“He said, ‘I like you. I like everything about you. I’d like to do a whole show based around you,’” Clanton said.

It wasn’t long before she was in a studio, recording a pilot episode of the show. The head honchos at Fox were impressed with what they saw, and soon “The Daily Helpline” was on the air.

“It’s not like everything else you’re watching,” Clanton said. “It’s not about shocking people, but it’s also not sickeningly sweet.”

Clanton admits she doesn’t have all the answers but, by talking things out, she hopes to make life easier for each and every guest.

“I want to give people quick, effective, practical tools,” she said. “I want them all to walk away feeling empowered. I want to inspire them.”

“The Daily Helpline”

11 a.m. weekdays

KTBC, Channel 7