While most of my nights are filled with scripted television fare, that doesn’t mean I’m immune to the charms of evening news shillers, most specifically the dashing silver fox Anderson Cooper. I’ve been known to flip on over to CNN from time to time for a little dose of Anderson Cooper 360, not only because he’s easy on the eyes but mostly because he seems like the last remaining newsmen who actually tells it like it is and cares about the impact of his journalism. Credit my starry-eyed affinity because of his time doing pre-, during- and post-Katrina coverage, pulling people to safety out of the rising waters with nothing but his strong upper torso and bare hands – okay maybe that’s a little sensationalist/tabloid journo of me, but a vivid imagination is healthy – AC puts his fame and position in the media to good use and I’m always excited to see what he’ll do next. I even love his guest hosting duties along side Kelly Ripa at Live with Regis & Kelly, he always handles his co-host and the oftentimes silly antics of the show with enthusiasm and dignity (if that can be found on Live). Enjoy the Human Dominos video below depicting a little of said silliness – thanks goes to friend of TVDishwithTrish, Jackie Boy for providing this gem.
So it’s no surprise that word came this week that AC will be heading up a new daytime talk show. As part of the deal with Telepictures Productions and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Cooper also renewed his agreement with CNN for a multi-year contract. The deal calls for Cooper to continue hosting 360.
The arrival of Cooper on the syndication scene would represent the rare crossover of a TV personality from serious primetime news into the daytime space. Cooper could draw comparisons to silver-haired daytime legend Phil Donahue, though Donahue originally only hosted morning news and radio programs. The View co-hosts Barbara Walters and Meredith Vieira, however, both have extensive news experience.
The as-yet-untitled project will not have a hard-news focus, though given AC’s background, he’ll bring a more journalistic approach to handling popular topics compared to most daytime fare. The show is billed as a topical format that will cover everything from celebrities and pop culture to social issues and wide-interest news stories. Using his well-established interview skills, Cooper’s show will welcome a broad range of guests and tackle debate-provoking subjects. Segments are said to include hidden-camera experiments and town-hall meetings, with a focus aimed at appealing to female viewers (and the gays who love him). Considering the exit of Oprah this fall, it seems a smart time for AC to make a move on such a demographic.