Tonight is the big debut of CNN’s newest show — the one that media watchers have been anticipating since the beginning of the summer; that’s supposed to save the network in primetime; that’s going up against ratings giants Bill O’Reilly (about 3 million) and Keith Olbermann (about 1 million) at 8 p.m.; that Jon Klein fought so hard to create before he got fired 10 days ago — “Parker Spitzer,” with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker as co-hosts.
As it turns out, Business Insider’s own Henry Blodget (remember, he and Spitzer go way back) is one of the debut guests, according to a promo CNN is airing this afternoon. “Apparently it should be explosive between Spitzer/Blodget,” Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer tweeted.
Explosive! Though a CNN spokesperson could not confirm whether Henry’s appearance will be on tonight’s episode since “the show is still coming together.”
What else to expect? Spitzer and Parker have been on a bit of a press junket in recent days. Here’s what they’ve had to say:
- “I bring the everyday American perspective to the table … I get ’em. I’ve been living with them,” Parker told Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post. Spitzer added: “I think we just found out what happens when a Democrat and Republican try to do a TV marriage together.”
- “The one thing we don’t want is for someone to turn on the TV and say ‘oh yeah, I have seen him or her 18 times in the past week,'” Spitzer told TVNewser’s Alex Weprin. “That would lead to the same conversations and the same talking points, we are looking at different people, for a slightly different spark.”
- And he told Mediaite: “Neither one of us likes to be scripted. We’ll be spontaneous, and react, go back and forth, grab the moment. Neither one of us likes the teleprompter much. We’d rather just have fun and chat.”
- Similarly, Parker told The Huffington Post: “We’re definitely not doing ‘Evening Joe. We love ‘Morning Joe,’ but we think that free-wheeling, more relaxed format is more suitable to the morning. Plus they have three hours, so they can be a little bit more laid-back. We’re going to ratchet up the pace a bit, but yes, we have that in common with that show and others. We’ll have a conversation.”
- “It’s a conversation rather than a food fight,” Parker added on today’s “CNN Newsroom.” “I think most Americans are very tired of the extremes dominating the conversation, so we are bringing people to the table who — many of whom will not necessarily be familiar faces or voices.” Spitzer agreed: “Yes. Food fights were fun back in grade school, maybe, but for politics, we’re hoping, Tony, to sort of elevate the conversation.”
Also, on Twitter just now, Gabriel Sherman, who wrote this week’s juicy New York magazine cover story about the cable news wars, remarked: “Parker-Spitzer were smart, funny and likable when we met this summer. Will be interesting to see if that chemistry can translate to tv…”
In the meantime, here’s a preview clip of “Eliot’s Opening Argument,” the “Fire Tim Geithner” edition:
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