Tagged: cnn

Failing Upward, Ever Upward

There are no second acts in American life, unless you are Jeff Zucker, in which case your catastrophic firebombing of a major television network can be followed up with a job running a beleaguered news operation.

Jeff Zucker, the man who brought you “The Jay Leno Show,” the man who took NBC from the No. 1 network on television to the No. 4 broadcast network (there are only four), the man who infamously bungled handing over “The Tonight Show” to Conan O’Brien (and then bungled it again, and then bungled it yet again for good measure), the man who pinned his success on to “To Catch A Predator” and “The Apprentice” and “Joey,” is going to take over CNN. For a news network in search of an identity and a direction, this…is not very good news.

CNN hires Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock became famous after “Super Size Me” came out in 2004 and he had an FX show for a while and then continued to exist, I guess, even if neither you nor I gave him much thought at any particular moment. Apparently that happens? Famous people who stop being as famous as they once were just go right on existing? I’m going to need to read a few trend stories about this theory before I buy it.

Anyway, Spurlock is going to have a show called “Inside Man” on CNN beginning next April, reports the Toldja Post-Gazette. This is another part of CNN’s plan to revamp itself, following the hiring of Anthony Bourdain earlier this summer. I wonder who they will hire next? Maybe some talented journalists they can send out into the world to pursue stories that warrant attention, using the significant resources of CNN to report the news with a depth that their competitors at Fox News and MSNBC are unwilling or unable to match? Or maybe they’ll just hire Paula Deen and have her run around the country beating people to death with Buick-sized blocks of butter. Who knows!

Anthony Bourdain heads to CNN

I think CNN is the biggest and most godawful waste of resources and potential in all of modern media (and that’s only because of their massive parent company, state-of-the-art technology, still-respected brand and endless resources when it comes to being able to hire the very best people, to say nothing of actually sending those people to the places where we need reporters; with all of those things working in their favor, you’d think they could focus on actual reporting and fill the airtime that way, instead of giving hours and hours to pointless stories about “social media trends” and celebrity nonsense and also giving so many hours to the bloated monstrosity that is Piers Morgan). All of that being said, they could do a lot worse than Anthony Bourdain.

He will join the network next year, once his Travel Channel shows wind down. He is wrapping up “No Reservations,” and there will only be one more season of “The Layover” (which a shame, because that is a delightful show).

Unsuccessful show considers dumping co-host as way to keep things interesting before the inevitable cancellation

CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” is a show that nobody wanted and nobody thought was a good idea. Inexplicably, it hasn’t caught on with viewers. The behind-the-scenes sniping aside, now comes the obligatory whispering that the network wants to replace the “Parker” half of the equation, jettisoning Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker but keeping disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer. When the show is completely retooled yet still winds up canceled, just remember, this was the part with the rearranging of the deck chairs and whatnot.

Show nobody watches is only interesting for behind-the-scenes tension

The tensions spilled into public view last week when the Page Six gossip column in The New York Post said Ms. Parker had stormed off the set in early November. Asked about that claim, Ms. Parker said, “I don’t storm. I saunter.”

— This person has a Pulitzer Prize, is my point. CNN’s obvious-in-foresight disaster “Parker Spitzer,” a show that has no business existing nor any feasible audience, is a disaster, and now is the point in the show’s Bataan death march to cancellation where people anonymously snipe at one another.