Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Yakkity yak, Tony talks back

Tony Danza has a talk show now.

I can't comment on the quality of the program, because I haven't seen it, but I'm curious: Who thought this was a good idea? I've seen Danza interviewed on various entertainment magazine shows in the many years since he first came to prominence on Taxi, and he's never struck me as a scintillating conversationalist. Perhaps he is, but I can easily name a few dozen other minor celebrities who impress me as being more the type I'd want to spend an hour with than the guy from Who's the Boss?

I bring this up because I'm always curious about how programming decisions like this are made. At some point, some executive with access to some syndicator's pursestrings said, "I think we should do a talk show with Tony Danza." That executive then had to convince some number of his or her management peers that a talk show with Tony Danza is exactly what the American televiewing public has been clamoring for. A marketing department then had to canvass the corporate community and persuade other executives with money to toss around that they should toss some of that money into a talk show with Tony Danza. Additional marketing types had to blanket the country's TV stations and find enough of them willing to carry a talk show with Tony Danza to make the project feasible.

The common factor in all this should by now be obvious. We're talking here about a talk show with Tony Danza. The least funny character on both of the shows that made him a household name.

And this many influential people thought this was a fantastic idea? It boggles the mind.

Remember back in the early to middle '90s, when everybody and his brother, his sister, and their maiden aunt had a talk show on television? One of the Cosby Kids had a talk show. One of the airheads from Beverly Hills, 90210 had a talk show. A fourth-rate game show sidekick had a talk show. An insufferably lame female stand-up comic had a talk show. Trash journalists had talk shows. Cheesy unknown actors had talk shows. Carnie Wilson and Ricki Lake had duelling "cute fat girl" talk shows. The annoying Australian guy from the Campbell's Soup commercials had a talk show. Anyone with a peculiar first name, like Rolonda or Leeza or Bertice, had a talk show. People who could not possibly have been of even the remotest interest to anyone outside their own immediate families had talk shows.

Most of the above died quick, merciful deaths. (The shows. Not the hosts. Although in some cases, that seems like justice poorly served.)

And now, ten years after the boom, Tony Danza has a talk show.


In related news, David Letterman's production company settled on Craig Ferguson, the Scottish actor who played Drew Carey's pompous boss on Carey's old sitcom, to replace Craig Kilborn as host of The Late Late Show. I was pulling for DL Hughley, whom I thought was the funniest and most potentially interesting of the people under consideration, but I'm sure Ferguson will be fine. It sort of keeps the whole Craig continuity in place. Hey, if Craig Kilborn -- a man with absolutely no discernable talent and no apparent charm whatsoever -- could hold down that seat for five years, anyone could.

2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Saint Nate offered these pearls of wisdom...

Heh ... wonder if they'll call it "Who's the Host?"

In the age of bloggers, who needs talkshows?

6:59 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Who's the Host? I love that!

12:10 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home