Another week and another announcement from Jeff Zucker’s ratings-challenged CNN. As of tonight, Anderson Cooper 360 is being moved out of its 10 PM repeat slot for (Get To) The Point. The move follows the soft-rated launch of The Lead With Jake Tapper two weeks ago and the naming on March 28 of Kate Bolduan to co-host the upcoming CNN morning show this spring with Chris Cuomo. CNN says that the Donny Deutsch-led Point will run for only a week, but a source tells me the fate of the panel show could change quickly depending on viewer response. ESPN columnist Rick Reilly, author Margaret Hoover and ESPN NFL analyst Jason Taylor will also appear. The AC 360 encore, which has been repeating after Piers Morgan’s interview show since July 2011, will be shown at 11 PM for the next week, CNN says.
NBC’s Smash and CBS’ The Amazing Race were honored tonight at the 24th GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. Smash was named best drama series and Amazing Race took the nod for best reality series. How To Survive A Plague, a film chronicling the rise of activism in the early years of AIDS, was named best documentary.
Dressed as a Boy Scout, Madonna presented the previously announced Vito Russo Award to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Russo, who died in 1990, was a film historian who voiced concerns about how gays and lesbians are portrayed in the media. Movie director Brett Ratner received GLAAD’s inaugural Ally Award. The award for Ratner represented a turnaround from a little over a year ago when he dropped out as producer of last year’s Academy Awards after joking at an early press conference that “rehearsing is for fags”. Ratner since worked with the group to produce a public service campaign, GLAAD Coming Out For Equality.
A list of last night’s awards follows.
Brian Williams & Dan Patrick Considered For Alex Trebek Replacement On ‘Jeopardy’, Matt Lauer & Anderson Cooper Also In Mix
Sony Pictures TV is casting a wide net in its search for a successor to Alex Trebek as host of one of the studio’s top properties, veteran game show Jeopardy!. I have learned that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and NBC Sports personality Dan Patrick are among those approached by the studio, along with embattled Today show co-host Matt Lauer and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. I hear all four have had exploratory conversations with Sony TV, though the studio is not actively pursuing anyone at the moment.
Sony TV’s succession plan for Jeopardy! became a hot topic today after the NY Post reported on Lauer and Cooper being in the mix for the job. With the exception of Patrick, who has presented at the Super Bowl and during the Summer Olympics, Jeopardy! would mark a step up in the ratings department for any of the candidates. Yesterday, Jeopardy! was the No. 1 program on any network among households in the nation’s top market, New York, where Williams, Lauer and Cooper are based. Jeopardy! averaged a 10.0 household rating, edging CBS’ primetime blockbuster The Big Bang Theory (9.1). Lauer’s Today drew less that a third of that, a 2.9 rating. Of course, hosting a syndicated game show, which often films a whole season worth of episodes in a stretch of a couple of months, could be a second job for a top anchor as proven by Meredith Vieira, who juggled hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with her duties on The View and then Today.
As one new player enters the daytime syndication marketplace for next fall — Sony Pictures TV’s The Queen Latifah Show — another one is departing. Warner Bros Domestic TV started informing the stations this morning that the company won’t seek renewal for a third season of Anderson Live. The talk show of CNN host Anderson Cooper, which will wrap production in the spring, never found traction with viewers. The producers tried a revamp after Season 1 with a new venue, new title and all-live format, but that didn’t make a difference. Facing challenging economics, producer Telepictures opted to pull the plug. The daytime marketplace has not been welcoming to newcomers, with no talk show launched in the past couple of years breaking out. Coincidentally, the news of the demise of Cooper’s daytime talk show came during a hurricane, one of the signature events he is known for covering at CNN. Here are statements from WBTVD and Cooper:
Kristin Chenoweth will kick off the second season of Anderson Live, Anderson Cooper’s daily syndicated talk show, on Monday, September 10. Other guest …
He couldn’t use the “Sorry, this has actually never happened to me” excuse this time. Eight months after Anderson Cooper’s …
CNN’s Anderson Cooper absolutely saw it coming. When his colleague Wolf Blitzer unveiled the latest silly technical wizardry during the network’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night — CGI blobs representing Iowa voters — Cooper was not impressed. He called the CGI people “Weebles” because of their resemblance to the children’s toys, and told Blitzer at the end of the segment, “If you miss any of this you can see it later on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart when he ruthlessly mocks you.” And that’s exactly what Stewart did last night, calling the CGI models “cybernetic, multi-colored, featureless dildo people.” Here is The Daily Show video as well as the CNN CGI segment:
With basic cable networks buying more original series, and digital companies such as Netflix starting to license reruns, “there’s never been a better time to be in the television content and distribution business,” Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. His operation still depends on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC for most of its profits — even though they typically favor the shows they produce. WB’s been the top TV supplier for 20 of the last 25 years by being everyone’s second choice. “If you get enough at-bats, it adds up,” Rosenblum said. WB has 27 primetime shows on broadcast TV this fall including 11 newcomers. The exec is especially enthusiastic about Two And a Half Men with Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen. “CBS is very, very excited about it,” he says. Rosenblum says he isn’t worried yet that sales of older shows in continuing series to online streaming services will lure viewers away from new episodes on network TV, although “it’s something we’re watching.” But he says the digital companies have an opportunity to stand out if they purchase reruns of cable network series — networks don’t like to buy these from each other — and serialized dramas that often don’t appeal to TV stations.