A TV hostess is a woman who runs or anchors a television show. The key purpose of such a hostess is to relay information about the show to the viewers and to help make smooth transitions between segments. There are many kinds of television programs that employ television hostesses, but they are particularly common on game shows.
In addition to assisting with transitions within a show, a TV hostess is also often responsible for commenting on the content of the shows. This is particularly common in game shows. The commentary of the hostess can help viewers to understand exactly what is going on from moment to moment, especially when important events are taking place or when events are taking place at a rapid pace.
It is common for a TV hostess to have a background in theater, screen acting, or news broadcasting as the skills related to these professions relate directly to the skills needed to host a television show. Sometimes models or former models host TV shows. Female comedians may go on to host their own talk shows. This is the case, for example, with Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen Degeneres.
Sometimes a TV hostess will share the stage with a TV host. This is sometimes true for talk shows, new shows, and game shows. This is the case, for example, with the popular morning talk show Live with Regis and Kelley, which is co-hosted by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. The iconic American game show Wheel of Fortune is hosted by both Pat Sajak and Vanna White. The TV hostess of this duo was the first female co-host of a television game show. She was most certainly not the last and she may have paved the way for women to host shows of their own.
Famous female television game show presenters include the famously acerbic Anne Robinson who hosted the BBC's The Weakest Link. She also hosted the American version of the show which was broadcasted by NBC. Before hosting The Weakest Link, Robinson worked as a journalist. Another well-known TV hostess is Alison Sweeney. Sweeney, who has a background in acting for soap operas such as Days of Our Lives, began hosting the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser in 2007. Anne Robinson and Alison Sweeney are just two of the many TV hostesses that have graced network and cable shows since Vanna White first took the stage in 1982.