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Saturday 8 January 2011

Percy’s Big Guest – But Only Once

Only just over a week to go before Piers “Morgan” Moron debuts his new show on CNN, and his first guest has been revealed. It’s going to be Oprah. And, at first, the reaction was that, yes, this was a big name, but then came some re-evaluation and less than positive observations on the exercise.

First off, Oprah Winfrey has been all over the chat show circuit of late, possibly not unrelated to the launch of her own cable channel OWN. And the short video of her and Percy is clearly pre-recorded, from which follows the question of who has exercised editorial control over the interview. Moreover, the Larry King show, that previously ran on CNN in the 9pm ET slot was, well, live.

And one night of good ratings is not enough: during the last week of Larry King Live, although the show signed off with the biggest audience of all the cable news channels, the Tuesday figures had King fourth, behind Joy Behar on CNN’s sister channel HLN.

Speaking of which, there was a brief meeting between Percy and Joy, although the latter did not look too impressed with the successor to Larry King, who remains a good friend. The less than convincing tone continued through an interview on The Situation Room, though it has to be said that Wolf Blitzer isn’t the most mesmerising of hosts. The English accent isn’t going down too well, either.

Most of all, after all the hype and Oprah on the first programme, The Percy Moron Show has to pull in the guests and keep up the momentum for another four nights in that first week, then five more nights the week after, and the week after that. As Eliot Spitzer puts it in this video, where Percy drops in on a pre-broadcast meeting of the Parker Spitzer team, “it’s you that’s in trouble, not us”.

And Parker Spitzer has ratings problems of its own, constantly coming in fourth behind Bill O’Reilly at Fox, Keith Olbermann at MSNBC, and Nancy Grace at HLN. I hope that the host of The Percy Moron Show was listening.

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