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Phil Donahue Returning to TV

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Liberal talk-show host Phil Donahue will return to television Monday after a six-year absence, reports USA Today, resuming a career that began in 1967. Donahue, 66, who began his talk-show career in Dayton, Ohio, is credited with originating the format that led to the success of celebrity hosts such as Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell. The new “Donahue” debuts Monday night on cable station MSNBC, and will go head-to-head with the Fox News Channel’s top-rated, conservative show “The O’Reilly Factor,” and news veteran Connie Chung’s show on CNN. (CNN, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) MSNBC is hoping “Donahue” will jumpstart its prime-time ratings, according to USA Today. Donahue says he was content in retirement until the events of Sept. 11 inspired him to return. “I want to be a player,” he told the paper. “What young American boy wouldn’t want this opportunity?” He noted that the show will be interview driven and deal with the news of the day.