Today’s debut of “CBS This Morning” was worth the price of admission just for the pleasure of watching 70-year-old Charlie Rose look into the camera and say: “It’s a huge Twitter topic that Twitter friends have been Tweeting.”
PBS’s cerebral late-night host was probably thinking: #WTF?
As the producers no doubt instantly realized, Rose’s comfort zone does not extend seamlessly to pop-culture stories like Beyonce and Jay-Z’s new baby. Still, he gets an A for effort, and so does the show.
Given CBS’s unbroken record of failure dating back to the launch of its first morning broadcast in 1954, executive producer Chris Licht made good on his promise to break the mold. There was no goofy weatherguy, no raucous fans outside the studio and, most important, no phony chit-chat among anchors.
In fact, unlike Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s hit ‘Morning Joe,’ (Licht’s previous credit), Rose and Gayle King rarely appeared together on set. He fronted the hard news-driven 7 a.m. hour, with the affable King on the lighter stuff from 8 to 9. Erica Hill, lone holdover from CBS’s ‘Early Show,’ crossed over both hours.
Instead of the traditional couch, they sat around a round glass table – perhaps an homage to Rose’s wood model on PBS. The glass-walled Green Room, which does have a couch, is also on set, which may well turn out to be a short-lived experiment.
There were several live shots of rocker Melissa Etheridge and Julianna Margulies, star of CBS’s ‘The Good Wife,’ chatting on said couch. They may or may not have been noshing on bagels. Don’t be surprised if this novelty wears off quickly. Many celebs, particularly those outside the CBS family, are not eager to be seen behind the curtain.