I feel that Ricki Lake's show was scripted. Her topics were always outlandish and not something that was easy to find. The topics she covered were carefully chosen to attract and gain viewership, otherwise she would be out of work. The arguments often times seemed fake and forced much like the other talk shows that she mimicked.
Yes, I think that the Ricki Lake show was scripted, because talk shows like Ricki Lake were the old reality shows before there were reality shows. Shows like that have to have direction so that they stay on topic. They had to tell the people to talk about the issues that brought them to the show. It was obviously scripted, but that was okay.
Yes, I do think that this show, along with almost all of the shows on tv, were scrited. I think that it was all planned for what they were going to say, and that there was not a single thing that he said that he did not know he was to say.
Most sensational reality shows and talk shows are scripted. The RIcki Lake show was one of these. While there was undoubtedly some grain of truth and some spontanaiety, I have no doubt that producers were generally advising guests how to behave and act. As this sort of programming races to the bottom, programs are scripted to be increaingly outrageous.
I feel that all "reality" type talks shows are scripted, at least to some degree. The guests know what they will be talking about, and are encouraged to take the topics a certain direction. The hosts also have pre-written questions to ask. Whether or not each part of it is scripted, I don't think so, but it's certainly not completely without acting and playing to the audience.