×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Daytime talkshow hosts have roughly the same life span as Hollywood celebrity marriages -- there's an initial attraction and a few good laughs, but the novelty factor wears off far too quickly. One might even argue that the talkshow host gig is a more brutal affair.

Daytime talkshow hosts have roughly the same life span as Hollywood celebrity marriages — there’s an initial attraction and a few good laughs, but the novelty factor wears off far too quickly. One might even argue that the talkshow host gig is a more brutal affair. Bonnie Hunt seems well-equipped to the task, with a genuinely funny style that exudes a certain sisterly charm. So far, however, the laughs aren’t big enough nor the concept as compelling as it needs to be to make viewers want to tune in daily.

Hunt entered the daytime talk mine field this week, and her Warner Bros.-distributed show has cleared 85% of the U.S. and 15 of the top 20 markets. Her approach is not unlike that of daytime dynamo Ellen DeGeneres: She’s self-depreciating, relatable and most importantly, a funny down-to-Earth Chicago gal. Yet while these qualities, along with natural acting instincts, make her a great movie co-star and a kooky best friend type, it does not necessarily a talkshow host make.  

The first few eps were pleasant enough, and one has to give Hunt kudos for doing things her way. Channeling the retro style and ambiance of her personal hero Dean Martin (even down to the show graphics), Hunt relies on a very casual conversational style, seemingly flowing from one topic to another, everything peppered with homespun personal stories.

Throughout the show, Hunt often incorporates folks from her crew in her discussions, including exec producer Don Lake and writer Jon Kimmel (brother of Jimmy). The approach is meant to be improvisational, but then the props come out, and it’s obvious a good many of the jokes are just elaborate setups.  

Elements of her shtick include a mildly amusing Art Linkletter-like segment interviewing kids, and having guests bring snacks and gifts for the audience.  The nod to the old days of talkshows has its charm, but so far, “Bonnie Hunt” doesn’t feel that topical or relevant.

The set is unique and quite elaborate — if perhaps a bit too busy, spanning two levels with multiple doors and a ton of home photos.

Hunt’s time management with her guests is also still evolving. While having pal Robin Williams as her first guest seemed like a sure thing, he quickly ran off on all kinds of tangents leaving Hunt and the audience far behind. The guest list for the first few shows felt rather safe and featured lots of Hunt’s friends, including Joe Mantegna (bringing sandwiches from his Chicago restaurant), Hilary Duff, “Weeds” co-star Justin Kirk and Swoosie Kurtz.

Kurtz did provide Hunt with a great straight line, commenting, “It’s a great set,” to which the host shot back, “Well thank you. It is a new bra.”

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Syndicated

Production: Filmed on location in Culver City, Calif., by Bob & Alice Prods. and paraMedia, in association with Telepictures Prods. and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Executive producers, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Jim Paratore; co-executive producer, David Perler; supervising producer, Jason Kurtz; executive in charge of production, Greg Gorden.

Crew: Line producer, Kim Tushinsky; director, Brad Kreisberg; assistant director, Ann Rogerson; writers, Jon Kimmel, Holly Wortell; art director, Tracy Marsh-Nejame; musical director, Nicholas Pike; editor, Michael Cole. Running time: RUNNING TIME 60 MIN.

More TV

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content