×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vibe

The technical glitches that marred the first two nights of "Vibe," signs that perhaps Columbia TriStar's new latenight talker wasn't quite ready, were pretty much history by night three when the energy level found a healthy hip-hop stride. The show is relying heavily on tried-and-true talker trademarks of couch and chair with an upbeat house band; its unique touch is the inclusion of two musical segments that get the show away from the couch for much-needed breathers. But therein lies the problem. Host Chris Spencer hasn't exhibited much of a personality and his interviewing style is little more than a collection of pandering and glad-handing. His comedy is tired at times (what if gang members feuded by dancing as in "West Side Story") and any pop culture reference requiring pre-1980 knowledge is greeted with silence. The alleged aim is hipness, which means Spencer can do jokes about basketball star Allen Iverson, a target probably too obscure for Dave's or Jay's crowd; that the jokes aren't funny is what will be remembered longer.

With:
Quincy Jones, Bill Clinton, Anthony Edwards, Brandy, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Blackstreet with Slash, Kirk Franklin and God's Prophet, Whoopi Goldberg, Tyson, Salt-N-Pepa, Vivica A. Fox, Aaliyah, Lacy Chabert, Demi Moore, Wu Tang Clan, Naomi Campbell, Alex Thomas.

The bookings are pretty much contemporary established stars — black musicians, actors, Demi Moore, a supermodel and a comedian — who are given free rein to plug recent efforts. And Spencer is clueless in directing an interview, figuring that constantly changing the subject will hold the aud’s short attention span. He allowed Brandy to explain the plot of “Cinderella.” Vivica A. Fox spilled the details on karaoke. Teen singer Aaliyah gave Spencer a gift basket full of Aaliyah promo items. Salt-N-Pepa recited a list of upcoming guests that Spencer had just finished reading. Guests might be enjoying themselves, but as television, couch segs are deadly.

Debut episode began with exec producer Quincy Jones interviewing a tape of President Clinton. What could have been clever turned into a rambling position speech on America’s youth. Jones, who made one other appearance, has trouble with cue cards and fails to deliver on his image as a cultural benefactor. Taped bits that poked fun at Spencer’s anonymity and the show’s undecided direction were far too obvious.

Vibe’s success as a magazine comes through its diversity; the TV show is showing itself as a more mainstream version. While it doesn’t have the wacky foolishness of a “Def Comedy Jam,” it doesn’t feel like a celebration of black or urban culture. Snippets of older black stars appearing on TV in the ’60s, it is hoped, are laying a foundation for what “Vibe” can become — a show that provides exposure to new young stars as well as the artists who didn’t have a venue for their talents in the ’70s and ’80s. A better balance and improving Spencer’s interviewing skills will go a long way in bringing in a loyal audience.

Vibe

Mon.(4), Tues.(5), Wed.(6), 11p.m.-12 a.m., KCOP

Production: Taped in Los Angeles by Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. Executive producers, Quincy Jones, David Salzman, Daniel Kellison. Senior producers, Annette Grundy, Daniel Salzman; producers, Cali Alpert, Belma Johnson; director, Sandra Fullerton;

Crew: head writer, T. Sean Shannon; production designer, Ray Klausen; music director, Greg Phillinganes; executive in charge of talent, Bill Royce.

Cast: Quincy Jones, Bill Clinton, Anthony Edwards, Brandy, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Blackstreet with Slash, Kirk Franklin and God's Prophet, Whoopi Goldberg, Tyson, Salt-N-Pepa, Vivica A. Fox, Aaliyah, Lacy Chabert, Demi Moore, Wu Tang Clan, Naomi Campbell, Alex Thomas.Host: Chris Spencer

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content