Some temporary primetime changes are coming to CNN ahead of the premiere of “Piers Morgan Tonight” later this month.
For the next two weeks, Parker-Spitzer is going to get a second run at 11pmET and Anderson Cooper is going to be hosting at 9pmET until Morgan debuts Jan. 17. Cooper’s 9pm show has a talk format — bridging the Larry King-Piers Morgan gap, we suppose.
We will have the full cable ratings from Friday shortly, but for now, take a look at the strong showings from CNN’s “New Years Live” with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, and Fox News Channel’s “All American New Years” with Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer and the “Red Eye” New Years special.
Is it news when something doesn’t happen? Kathy Griffin was not yanked off CNN last night. Griffin, who referred to her turn on CNN’s New Year’s Eve as “Yank Watch 2011,” kept it clean during her co-hosting gig alongside Anderson Cooper. Last year, Griffin dropped the “F” bomb and the year before she heckled an onlooker who’d been heckling her. This year Griffin got physical. She slugged Cooper a few times (above), tried to take off his clothes, and kissed his producer four minutes before midnight.
TVNewser was there again on the press platform where CNN’s Cooper and Griffin broadcast from the west end, while on the east end of the riser, high above Duffy Square, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer hosted FNC’s “All American New Year.” In between stood two rows of local and national news anchors broadcasting in multiple languages to networks around the world.
Fox News hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Greg Gutfeld roamed the Crossroads of the World talking with some of the 1 million revelers on a rare December night where, thanks to a 40-degree temperature, one couldn’t see their breath.
Leading up to the main events on broadcast and cable news channels, E!’s Bill and Giuliana Rancic hosted festivities for the Times Square crowed. Leading up to midnight, we ran into CBS News “Early Show” EP David Friedman who spent seven New Year’s Eves here producing Carson Daly‘s NBC special. Friedman, who joined CBS in late 2009, is back at work today doing rehearsals with the new “Early Show” anchor team which debuts Monday morning. “We’ve changed the set a bit, so we want to be ready for Monday,” Friedman told us. On the NBC special this year, NBC News’ Natalie Morales and Amy Robach worked the crowd.
Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt during FNC's New Year's Eve Special
There was the occasional star sighting from the acts who appeared on Dick Clark’s ABC special: Ke$hia, and the combined New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, to native New Yorker Gary Marshall who’s back in the city filming a new movie and the “Old Spice” guy, Isaiah Mustafa. Photos after the jump…
“The Most Trusted Name in News just got a whole lot more trusting” said Griffin. “I’m thrilled that they’re letting me co-host New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper again!”
Griffin has reportedly beefed up her security after being booed at the recent USO show “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops.” Griffin had joked about Bristol Palin‘s performance on “Dancing with the Stars,” saying she was “the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight.”
This will be the fourth year that Cooper and Griffin have co-hosted New Year’s Eve on CNN. They’ll take the stage at 11pmET but CNN’s NYE programming begins hours before and a will include a special edition of Larry King Live at 9pmET. King’s final Live broadcast is this Thursday.
Kelly and Hemmer will go live from 11pmET to 12:30am from Duffy Square in the middle of Times Square. Several local and national TV news crews, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper (and presumably Kathy Griffin, though CNN hasn’t made that official yet) originate from the same platform near the main stage which is used for performances for ABC’s New Year’s Special.
“The Gulf oil spill is a disaster both national and natural in scope, and the point of this effort is to get immediate relief to the people and Wildlife who are in urgent need,” says longtime CNN Larry King Live Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker. “The telethon’s proceeds go directly to the relief organizations who are working on the frontlines to do just that.”
Politicians and journalists descended upon the Washington Convention Center last night for the 2010 Radio and TV Correspondent’s Association dinner.
We spoke to CNN’s Candy Crowley who was looking forward to sharing the table with Kathy Griffin, but thought the crowd noise might be a problem. She told us, “I’m worried I won’t be able to hear her… Oh wait, what am I saying?”
CNN’s main table had Griffin, Crowley, John King, and Dana Bash as well as King’s invited guest: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). TVNewser, was a guest of CNN and at the table next to us, we spotted the Fox Newsers Brit Hume and Bret Baier, fresh from his interview with the president. Also, RNC Chair Michael Steele, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Meanwhile, former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and the Rev. Jesse Jackson brushed past each other nearby. Miss America was even there.
Pres. Obama sent a funny taped message apologizing to the crowd of media industry pros who he characterized as “following me incessantly and waiting for me to screw up.”
Vice President Joe Biden appeared in place of the president and delivered a handful of hit-or-miss zingers. He told the story of St. Patrick who chased the snakes from Ireland, and said, “There were no snakes. He made that up. That’s why he’s the patron saint of Fox News.” Biden joked that “the only media outlet that ever gave me a fair shake in this town was Amtrak Magazine.”
Comedian Joe Wong was the evening’s entertainment and made some new fans in the crowd. Afterward, TVNewser stopped by the “BBC World News America” party where everyone from David Shuster to Wolf Blitzer to a stylin’ Roland Martin were enjoying themselves.
FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein was invited to the Fox News pre-party and has the full scoop on that bash.
In between bites we pulled out the FlipCam. See how many newsers you can spot:
Anderson Cooper was the first U.S. TV news anchor on the ground in Haiti this morning. Less than 24 hours earlier, he was taping a segment for the Jay Leno Show — the 10@10. The taping occurred before the earthquake struck.
Last night on Leno, he was asked to name all the countries he’s visited. Haiti was fourth on the list after Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. He also told Leno that Barbara Walters is one of the hottest female reporters and that Kathy Griffin is the greatest threat to his career:
Update: On “AC360,” Cooper will have a cable exclusive tonight with former President Clinton via satellite.
According to Rob Shuter at Popeater, CNN won’t be having Kathy Griffin back next New Year’s eve: “Following her very controversial F-bomb-dropping New Year’s Eve hosting gig, CNN executives have decided Kathy Griffin will NOT be getting a 2011 invite.” But a CNN spokesperson says, “No decisions have been made yet regarding next year’s show.” (h/t J$)
In the battle of the cable news channel New Year’s Eve specials, FNC’s “All American New Year’s” with Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly topped CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin in Total Viewers, but CNN came out ahead in A25-54 viewers.
— FNC averaged 1.970M Total Viewers from 11pm-12:30amET. While CNN averaged 1.957M Total Viewers in the time period.
— CNN drew 842K in the A25-54 demo while FNC averaged 576K.