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Changing the Channel

Jessica Otte | August 25, 2016 | Feature Features

Bishop T.D. Jakes aims to elevate daytime TV with an uplifting new talk show.
HE'S THE MAN Bishop T.D. Jakes launches his nationally syndicated talk show this month.

When unprecedented violence shook Dallas in July, the city turned to a trusted source for comfort: Bishop T.D. Jakes, longtime pastor of The Potter’s House, who led the city in prayer and opened his South Dallas megachurch to those affected by the tragedy.

In an age that feels increasingly in need of reasoned, reassuring leadership, the 59-year-old minister has provided just that for not only his 30,000-plus parishioners, but to millions of other devotees who know him through his numerous books, films and speaking engagements. Beginning this month, Jakes will have one more medium through which to make an impact: a syndicated daytime talk show called The T.D. Jakes Show. Scheduled to premiere in more than 50 markets nationwide (and airing locally on WFAA), the daily secular program will deal with topics ranging from relationships to current events, with Jakes leading the discussion in his signature inspiring style. As for what makes his different from the other talk shows saturating the market, Jakes points to the positivity of his message.

“People say there is a dearth in the daytime television space for uplifting content. There seems to be a need for that,” he explains. “I hope to provide a place where we can have some good news.” Though not a faith-based program, Jakes’ experience as a pastor makes him uniquely suited to the role of talk-show host. “I’m not an actor they hired to do a talk show—I’m used to engaging with people,” he says, noting that the program will incorporate social media to deepen the conversation with viewers. “It’s not going to be a monologue; it’s going to be a dialogue between me and America.” Not only does Jakes have some lofty dream guests—the current presidential nominees and BeyoncĂ©, among them—he also has some veteran heavyweights in his corner. “I’m happy to say that Oprah, Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey and so many others have been so very supportive and encouraging,” he says.

Jakes is confident he’ll be able to manage the rigors of a daily talk show, his weekly obligations at The Potter’s House and his values-based film projects (his latest with Sony, Miracles From Heaven, starred Jennifer Garner). But there’s still more he’d like to accomplish. “I think there’s a great need for leadership in our country and to mentor and develop other leaders,” he says. “That’s what I want to do in the fall of my life is to be a coach in the corner, encouraging the next generation to accomplish their dreams.” Beyond that? “I’ve never been parasailing,” he says laughing. “I would love to do that.”


Fashion, the music of Aretha Franklin and India.Arie (and just about everything else, from country to classical to hip-hop), The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, deep-sea fishing


Laziness, turnips, people who mistreat others


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