Is Anderson Cooper’s Variety Show Already a Big Disappointment?

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Anderson Cooper and the whole of CNN is in the middle of a ratings freefall. Whether it’s because network brass recognized there was trouble brewing, or they saw all the buzz MSNBC and Fox News receive, they came up with what amounts to a AC360 variety show, complete with studio audience. It really wasn’t anything you haven’t seen before. I can’t tell if that’s good or bad yet.

Minus the game show element — but even that seemed to be a mix between Jay Leno’s Jeopardy-style challenges and Bill O’Reilly’s weekly guessing game — Cooper’s new format didn’t seem that new at all.

“Before it launched, there was much speculation on whether it would take the tone of daytime talk shows, but, ultimately, Cooper kept his hard news edge on the show, presenting a product that was more Bill Maher than Oprah Winfrey, except with out the partisan dialogue and with a panel much less inclined to debate each other than to have a friendly chat about the matter at hand,” relays Mediaite‘s Frances Martel. “It’s not a completely new idea as much as it is a unique blend of many previously seen talk show elements put together for the first time.”

And while it’s true there are no new ideas, especially in television, Cooper’s “new” program felt like the same dull daytime fare that even John King can handle without a teleprompter.

But at least it’s better than The Wanda Sykes Show?

I’m not writing this one off just yet. And while I may not be the target audience — the show feels like it’s aimed at 50-year-olds, not college educated urban young people like myself — there needs to be a reason for me to ditch my Friday night to watch this thing instead of hang out with actual people. Or watch Friday Night Lights. This isn’t it, yet.

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  • Keith

    At least Anderson gets a 3 day weekend assuming they continue to tape it on Thursday leaving whatever viewers they do have to watch day old news.

  • christopher di spirito

    Poor Anderson.

    He’s just marking his time until Regis Philbin retires so he can take his place sitting beside Kelly Lee Whatever Her Name is.

  • Ronnie

    What do you mean “Poor” Anderson? He’s got more money that we’ll ever see the likes of. No matter what, its a win-win situation for him.

  • Jon (one of the other ones)

    If Ted Turner was dead his grave would be spinning.

  • A.G.

    A.C. gets better looking by the day.

  • fredo777

    That man could put out a show of nothing but him looking seductively into the camera. Woof.

  • rrr

    TV news audiences skew old at the best of times. It would be dumb to try to design a prime time news show targeting young adults on Fridays.

    The kids & race discussion that dominated a lot of the show was a topic introduced by 360 on its own initiative not one that was in the headlines. I guess that was different than the average newscast.

  • MickW

    Who cares, Anderson is so 2004!

  • Ian

    Why would I waste my time watching an old money Prada suit addicted closet case? I’ll stick with Chelsey Lately at nite thank you.

  • jeffree

    A newsy variety show sounds good, but Friday night may not get much of a draw.
    I could TIVO it just to watch AC though when I get home from work/ fun…

    I can’t speak for my entire generation, but almost all the people I know born in the mid 80s and a little later don’t watch tv news, & barely read a newspaper. Except sports pages.
    My parents watch the 9 or 10 pm news & glance at the paper. A little news radio in the car. That’s it.

    i constantly preach how good Rachel.Maddow is but not a lot of interest in the news —or voting for that matter!

  • TheAwfulTruth

    Boring. Passe. Desperate. Out of touch. Get it, Cooper? Time to fly the coop.

  • Robb

    Hell, I’d tune in to watch AC read the Phone Book (sighhhh)

  • Mickey

    I’d watch it, but I’ve always thought Anderson was smart, sexy and funny. He also has this sarcastic/cynical side that he lets loose sometimes and that makes him even more appealing to me. No, he’s not the greatest newsman who ever lived, but he CAN be effective when going after birthers and others who make up their own facts or reporting from disasters like Haiti. He’s a cool guy and yes, it would be great if he came out, but I don’t hold it against him since everyone has to do it on their own terms and when they feel the time is right.

  • David Ehrenstein

    This would work best with Andeson aired with Kathy Griffin.

    They’re the Regis and Kelly from Mars.

  • jeffree

    @David Ehrenstein: Great idea as always! I was thinking more a long the lines of Wanda Sykes. Sure, her chat show tanked but she ‘s fiercely aware of politics, quick w/ a quip, PLUS the womyn needs a new job !

    On second thought, that might skew 2 gay — especially for The Coop…..

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