NBC‘s Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump, America’s greatest living political tease, appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends this morning to say, “I’ll make a decision at some time pretty soon” in re whether he will run for governor of New York. That news comes a couple weeks after a group of GOP politicos met with Trump to discuss the possibility of his taking on Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year. In press reports before the meeting, Trump’s EVP Michael Cohen had said Trump had already stated on several occasions that he’s not interested in running for governor of New York. After the meeting, Cohen told Daily News “We had a very interesting meeting and Mr. Trump has agreed to meet with them again at a later date.”
For years now Trump has been savvily mulling a race for governor or POTUS, generating pots of publicity for his various businesses, including the business of co-owning/starring in Celebrity Apprentice and Miss Universe Pageant – both on NBC. “I will not be running for president — See you for a great season!” Trump famously announced in May 2011, turning NBC’s unveiling of its new primetime schedule into a political news conference and demoting NBC’s pitch to advertisers about new dramas The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect and Grimm, and comedies Up All Night, Free Agents and Whitney to BTW status in media coverage of the presentation. Read More »
In her first full month co-hosting Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck averaged 1,226,000 viewers, with 289,000 of them in the 25-54 news demo. That’s up 16% in total viewers and 22% in the demo compared to third-quarter 2013. Last week was Fox & Friends’ highest-rated demo this year, excluding broadcasts in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Same morning Hasselbeck’s stats are being reported, lots of press picking up report in celeb gossip site Radar that Jenny McCarthy, who took a chair at ABC’s daytime talker The View when Hasselbeck exited, may not be testing so well with that show’saudience. Good to be Elisabeth Hasselbeck this morning.
An average of 1.166 million people tuned in to watch Elisabeth Hasselbeck‘s Fox & Friends debut Monday morning. A slightly bigger crowd, 1.171 million people tuned in to say so long to the show’s longtime co-host Gretchen Carlson on Friday; Carlson gave up her spot on the curvy couch to make way for Hasselbeck. Carlson’s getting her own afternoon program on FNC. Hasselbeck’s audience includes 285,000 people in the news demo, while Carlson’s crowd included a smaller, 239,000 in the 25-54 age bracket. Hasselbeck skewed younger. And, Hasselbeck Monday was up 4% in overall audience and 19% in the demo compared to the previous Monday, and up 21% in the demo and 10% in total viewers compared to 3Q.
Not surprisingly, Hasselbeck’s debut beat cable news competition on Monday. MSNBC’s Morning Joe clocked 432,000 viewers Monday morning, 147,000 of them in the news demo, while CNN’s New Day scraped together an average of 250,000 total viewers, — 89,000 in the demo. FYI, Hasselbeck’s former home, ABC’s The View averaged 3.1 million this past TV season.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck wasted no time in her debut on Fox & Friends early Monday morning. After handing the guys new coffee mugs, and speed-marveling at the new set, she sat down on the new curvy couch, dismissed her time on The View with a couple nice comments (Barbara Walters is like “the best surgeon”) — ditto Survivor and her college softball team — then jumped right in to a new report claiming Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi investigation let top officials off the hook. Barely pausing for breath, she and the guys began to debate the shocking disparity between the questions asked of the two Miss America finalists the previous night. One finalist got asked about the Obama administration’s threats to attack Syria over the use of chemical weapons — the other about Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs and nude music video. “In defense…in our home, twerking is a weapon of mass destruction,” Hasselbeck said. “I see nothing wrong.”
Hasselbeck, in a chic sleeveless lavender dress, joined Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, in the position formerly held by Gretchen Carlson, who moved out Friday and will helm a one-hour daytime show on the cable news network. Carlson got sheet-caked on her final day on the show she started on in 2006 — one year after joining FNC. Ironically, Carlson did not get to weigh in on Monday’s segment about Miss America question disparity — she’d exited the show on the 25th anniversary of her having been crowned Miss America. In July, Fox News announced Hasselbeck would leave ABC’s The Viewand join F&F this month.
Gloria Estefan sang “I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face” in honor of Gretchen Carlson, who got sheet-caked this morning on her last day at Fox & Friends. Throughout her final three hours on the early-morning program, Carlson thanked her hair and makeup people for making her look better than she felt at 3 AM each day, the show crew and producers, and her three alarm clocks for waking her up without fail — she noted she’d never overslept once in her run (She started on the show in 2006, one year after joining FNC). Geraldo Rivera was among those who stopped by to wish her well. Carlson, who’s just begun on Twitter, asked Rivera for tweeting advice. “Just let me whip this off,” said he of the famous naked selfie, and pretended to begin removing his clothing. “Don’t do it after 1 AM, don’t do it after two tequila shots and don’t take off your blouse,” he advised.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck will debut as co-host of Fox & Friends on Monday, September 16, Fox News Channel announced this morning. At 6 AM ET that morning, she will join current co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on the top-rated cable morning show in a redesigned set that also will be unveiled that morning, the cable news net added. Last month, Hasselbeck ended a decade at the sole conservative voice on ABC’s gabfest The View; she has been replaced by Jenny McCarthy who has yet to debut on that show. On F&F, Hasselbeck’s predecessor Gretchen Carlson, who will helm a one-hour daytime show on the cable news network. Hasselbeck, who previously served as a co-host on The View, will interview key newsmakers, celebrities and politicians on a brand new F&F curvy couch alongside veteran co-hosts Doocy and Kilmeade, both of whom have been with the program since it debuted in 1998.
UPDATED, 9:55 AM:Fox News Channel‘s morning show got a big fat plug on ABC this morning when outgoing The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was allowed to announce specifics of her future plans at the top of the show. “I’m really happy and excited to confirm I will be joining the Fox & Friends team in September and I would first like to thank Mr. [Roger] Ailes, Bill Shine, and the entire Fox [News] Channel for this incredible opportunity,” Hasselbeck gushed at the top of this morning’s show, eschewing the “pursue other opportunities” shilly-shallying that usually occurs when on-air talent switches teams. The View creator/exec producer/den mother Barbara Walters even pitched in to help, telling Hasselbeck to tell Ailes she can come back to visit whenever she wants.
“I’m happy you’re going,” Walters told Hasselbeck at the start of the latter’s last day on the show this morning. “No, I’m NOT! I’m happy it’s good for you,” Walters continued, struggling to get back on script. Hasselbeck, who’d walked out onstage arm-in-arm with Babs as the studio audience gave her a standing ovation, began to praise the show’s liberals with whom she’d clashed over the years. She called Whoopi Goldberg “the most talented artist on the planet.” As for her Tormentor in Chief, Joy Behar, Hasselbeck insisted she has “an insane amount of respect” for the comic-turned-TV commentator, who is also leaving the show. Moving on, Hasselbeck named Sherri Shepard “my sister in Christ” before turning to Babs and saying how well prepared she feels to join Fox & Friends in the fall because, for the past decade on The View, “I’ve attended the Barbara Walters School of Broadcasting and Journalism.”
The previous afternoon Hasselbeck announced she was ending her decade as the lone conservative voice on The View and moving to FNC’s morning show in September. She’ll join Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and take the place of Gretchen Carlson, who will helm an as-yet-unnamed one-hour daytime show on the cable news network. Read More »
UPDATE: NBC has posted a clip of the spoof, which we’ve added below. Scroll down to view.
You won’t be surprised that Saturday Night Live‘s primetime special SNL Weekend Update Thursday opened with its funniest, and most timely, routine — a send-up of the secret video of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The show took it on via a parody of Fox News‘ Fox & Friends. (It featured Tarran Killan as Steve Doocy, Vanessa Bayer as Gretchen Carlson, and Bobby Moynihan as Brian Kilmeade.) Their version of the video showed Romney, played by Jason Sudeikis, saying he won’t win the votes of 47% of the country who don’t pay taxes. But he adds “I don’t mean senior citizens. And I don’t mean members of our armed services. And I don’t mean Southern whites…When I say ‘these people,’ I mean black people.” The Fox & Friends hosts then show other secret videos of Romney at a McDonalds (“How do you people eat this garbage?”), being caught in Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, and secretly singing in a shower. His song: “Oh, poor people hate having jobs…” The sharpest jab came at the end when the fake Fox & Friends scrolled a long list of corrections needed from the first two hours of the show. (One says: “Angela Merkel is not a palindrome.”)
What was supposed to be a segment on how the U.S. unemployment rate among young people could hurt President Obama‘s support in that demo turned out to be open-mic night for aspiring comedian Max Rice. Appearing as a former Obama supporter-turned-Romney supporter on Fox News Channel‘s Fox & Friends this morning, Rice and co-host Gretchen Carlson combined for an awkward few minutes before Carlson got the hint that he wasn’t who she thought he was. Kudos to her for staying professional and trying to stay on topic, but what was the show booker thinking? “We are still examining the situation, but it will be addressed with the appropriate parties involved”, said Fox News’ EVP Programming Bill Shine. Here’s the exchange:
It looks like Chris White is keeping his job at Fox News Channel. White was the associate producer at Fox & Friends credited with creating a four-minute video critical of President Obama that aired on the morning show Wednesday (see it here). “Chris White will remain employed with Fox News,” network EVP Bill Shine said today. “We’ve addressed the video with the producers and are not going to discuss the internal workings of our programming any further.” White was allegedly offered a job at CNN, but the rival news network said yesterday it would not hire him after all.
Is Chris White now a producer without a network? CNN isn’t hiring him and Fox News isn’t talking, a day after a scathing Fox & Friends video segment on President Obama ran that White, an associate producer at the network, put together. A source told Deadline that CNN, who had already been talking to the producer, contacted White after the video aired and offered to double his Fox News salary. CNN would not confirm whether or not they had offered White a job, and today a network spokesperson said it isn’t hiring him. Fox News was quick to distance itself for the widely criticized video, despite Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy’s on-air “hats off to Chris White” for producing the heavily annotated segment (see the video below). The network released a statement saying the segment “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network” and “this has been addressed with the show’s producers.” It is unknown whether White is actually still working at FNC. A Fox News spokesperson did not return Deadline’s requests for comment.
UPDATED: ESPN cut Hank Williams’ traditional lead-in song from last week’s Monday Night Football telecast after the country singer compared President Barack Obama to Hitler during a spot on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends. He apologized the next day. But today, the sports network owned by ABC has severed ties altogether via a curt statement this morning.
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
According to Williams Jr’s blog, it was his choice, not the network’s, to part ways “After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” he wrote in a post dated today. “By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.” The Grammy winner’s song had been a part of the MNF telecasts since 1991 on both ESPN and ABC.
Hank Williams Jr apologized on his website today for using an odd President Obama/Adolf Hitler analogy. Williams’ comments on the Fox News Channel show Fox & Friends yesterday got him in hot water, and ESPN yanked his theme song from Monday Night Football over the controversy. Williams wrote the following message to his fans:
“I have always been very passionate about Politics and Sports and this time it got the Best or Worst of me. The thought of the Leaders of both Parties Jukin and High Fiven on a Golf course, while so many Families are Struggling to get by simply made me Boil over and make a Dumb statement and I am very Sorry if it Offended anyone. I would like to Thank all my supporters. This was Not written by some Publicist.” — Hank Williams Jr
Tonight’s Monday Night Football game will not be preceded by Hank Williams Jr’s famous opening song. ESPN pulled the opening after Williams compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler this morning on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends. ”While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football,” ESPN said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.” ”All My Rowdy Friends” has been the MNF theme song on both ESPN and ABC for the past 20 years.
Williams says his comment about Obama was misunderstood. On Fox & Friends he said he thinks House Speaker John Boehner playing golf with President Obama “would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. … In the shape this country is in?” (Boehner and Obama played golf together this summer during the debate over the budget crisis.) Williams released the following statement through his publicist: “My analogy was extreme — but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me — how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president.”