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Look Who's Talking, And to Whom, On TV... Or Don't...
January 24, 2011  | By David Bianculli
 
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Last week, especially last Monday, Piers Morgan enjoyed a lot of media attention as the new talk-show host replacing CNN's Larry King. This week, he can expect a lot less attention, just as the hosts of Oprah Winfrey's OWN network have seen the media spotlight shift away from them since launching at the start of the New Year. And Conan O'Brien -- what have you heard of him, really, since the first days of his TBS relaunch?

TV talkers can't expect to control the buzz they generate, or don't, but they'd better get used to the idea of it as a daily slog -- where the overall quality and durability of their work is what will count most, not just whom they book, or what audiences they draw, on their opening nights.

Piers Morgan, for example, did his best work last week when interviewing Ricky Gervais, but even that left a lot of room for improvement. Chief recommendation: Stop teasing upcoming segments by revealing a specific question you intend to ask the guest next. Why bleed your own show of its element of surprise, and give your guest several commercial minutes to ponder an answer?

Tonight at 9 on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, his guest is Rudy Giuliani -- but since it's week two, don't expect the same audience levels as he drew a week ago. Nature of the TV beast.

Meanwhile, if you miss Larry King, you can watch him tonight at 11 p.m. ET -- on TBS's Conan, where he's the evening's special guest.

Or, if you want to watch a TV host interview another TV host, you can also tune tonight at 11:30 ET to Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, where Stephen Colbert plays host to PBS talk host Charlie Rose.

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Or, back on CNN and Piers Morgan's show on Tuesday, you can watch him interview Chelsea Handler, star of her own E! talk show, Chelsea Lately. Now THAT should be interesting, especially if Handler sizes him up as a balloon worth deflating. Yet when the shows aren't live, control is completely a home-court advantage.

But if all these talk shows hosts are talking to one another, the question must be asked: Has the world run out of interesting people who don't have their own TV shows?

And it appears, if that question is asked by TV talk hosts themselves, the answer is much more likely to be "yes."

 

1 Comments

 

I believe Larry King and Regis Philbin were fired because of their age. Neither of them said they were going to retire. When Larry King was on Craig Ferguson's show he was practically interviewing for another job by interviewing Ferguson to show of his brand of interviewing skills. Philbin when interviewed says he is leaving Live but not retiring.

Comment posted on January 24, 2011 1:52 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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