CNN's new 8 p.m. show Parker/Spitzer: Would you watch?
No, it's not fair to judge a show by a single, uncomfortable promotional spot.
And critics have had the knives out for CNN's new 8 p.m. gamble ever since the newschannel announced it was handing a prime time slot to a newspaper columnist with almost no TV experience and one of the most famous disgraced politicians in recent memory.
But with all that in mind, it's hard to understand why the cable newschannel would release such an awkward exchange as its first glimpse of Parker Spitzer, the new show debuting Oct. 4 featuring Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Kathleen Parker and disgraced former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer.
Besides offering a name so easy to lampoon headline writers should pay CNN royalties, the spot tells little about what we'll actually see. The problem with prime time cable news shows is that by 8 p.m., most consumers already know the day's big news events. So snagging an audience is more about interpreting those events in a compelling way -- either through Bill O'Reilly's pugnacious conservatism on Fox News or Keith Olbermann's left-leaning Murrow impersonation on MSNBC.
So far, Parker Spitzer looks like two brainy TV neophytes joshing about news events they know are too boring to captivate an audience. I'm hoping CNN executives see a charisma the rest of us can't.
Check out the promo below; would you watch this show?