Guests: James Worthy, Tommy Tune, Chevy Chase.
After several false starts due to format changes and last-minute tweaking, the folks at KTLA allegedly got their act together Tuesday and launched “The Morning Show,” the latest entry into the crowded field of a.m. talkshows.
Hosted by the channel’s “Morning News” anchors Carlos Amezcua, Barbara Beck, Mark Kriski and Sam Rubin, the hourlong program’s rough-around-the-edges style is a welcome change from the competition’s tightly scripted and choreographed offerings.
But the difference ends there. Bouncing from their free-for-all yet highly rated newscast that precedes the talkshow, the team trod familiar ground, covering the usual topics and using the usual suspects.
Field reporters Eric Spillman and Gayle Anderson filled time with views from the man on the street and a tour of Universal’s CityWalk. The only surprise was that the channel’s austere environment would permit the expense of two remote crews.
Sam Rubin reprises his roles as the Hollywood insider and the guy at the anchor desk who has trouble interjecting information over the exuberance of weatherman Mark Kriski.
Rubin also helmed the morning’s winning segment: A call-in from Chevy Chase, who debuted his talkshow on Fox Tuesday night. The comedian dismissed claims of latenight competition, saying, “There’s no question I’m already distinguished from the pack,” referring to his film career and successful stint on “Saturday Night Live.”
Exchanges like that, combined with the powerful lead-in, should sustain initial viewer interest. But barring substantial changes, the happy-news-turned-happy-talk format may make even die-hard fans go channel surfing.