Anderson Cooper joins the parade of candidates to fill the syndication void that will be left by Oprah Winfrey, although I don’t exactly understand the strategy — or Cooper’s thought process in doing it.
The one-time host of “The Mole” has worked hard to establish credentials as a newsman, dotting the globe and parachuting into venues stricken by natural disasters. Yes, he’s done some emoting there, but his main attributes are smarts and sobriety.
There might be a place for that in television, but look around, and there’s not much of one in daytime TV. That might explain why the landscape teems with court shows, and NBC has expanded “Today” from early morning almost until dinnertime.
It’s understandable that Time Warner wanted to keep Cooper in the fold, and expanding his turf with the syndicated program certainly offers a way to do that by sweetening the pot. But such decisions have to work on both ends, and I’m not sure this one makes sense on either of them. In addition, Cooper remains a vital part of a CNN lineup that’s in the midst of a serious transition. Is this really the time to split his focus? (What would that be, anyway? “AC 180” or something?)
“There is a great opportunity in the marketplace for this type of show,” said Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “Fall ’11 begins a transition period when long established franchises are leaving the air and making way for a new generation of shows. Anderson Cooper is one of the most distinctive voices of the next generation of television. His popularity and skills uniquely position him to be the next big syndication franchise.”
We’ll see. But unless you have your head stuck in the ground — you know, sort of like a mole — I seriously doubt it.