Bristol Palin's reality show; Ann Curry leaving 'Today'? Chat about this week in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Jun 22, 2012

The Post's TV columnist Lisa de Moraes discussed the latest in TV news - on and off the screen.

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Pook-a-licious: Just when I think I may have TV suits figured out, they go and throw me a curveball. A few years ago they surprised me with Monica Lewinsky hosting a dating show where the men wore masks. But, for some reason, I was more surprised by "Portia de Rossi as Lily Munster." It makes me smile.

This is why I love doing this weekly chat. I was so sure the second half of your comment was going to be: "But, for some reason, I was more surprised when Joe Jonas, former Proud Purity Ring Wearer, chose the non-virgin on Fox's skeevy dating competition show 'The Choice'."  I've been very happy with all the casting on "Mockingbird Lane," which is the name of NBC's re-boot of the campy old "The Munsters" TV series, which also includes Jerry O'Connell as Herman Munster and, especially, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa (Dracula).

Pookie -- Do you take credit for the (potential) removal of Ann Curry from the Today Show?

Good grief no... I'm just an observer.

I can't believe how much I love this show! Is that ok to say out loud? Does anybody else even know this show exists?

About 487,000 people. That's how many people watched the premiere of this week's episode. Not a great number but, to put in perspective, its very first episode, last year, only clocked 455,000, which caused one of the trade papers to note in a headline: " 'The Glee Project' Weak Premiere Ratings Leave Oxygen Execs Perplexed"

Lisa, you have recommended the Jeremy Brett/Edward Hardwicke Sherlock Holmes series a couple of times recently. Thank you so much. It has been great fun watching the shows. Ken in Atlanta

You may not know: Jeremy Brett played Freddie Eynsford-Hill in the George Cukor-directed, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison starring musical flick "My Fair Lady." He was dreamy....

I think what's most curious about this whole situation is that Ann Curry is now being presented as a "real journalist" who was never fully comfortable in the "fluffy" world of the "Today" show and will be better suited to a new job as hard news reporter, covering "stories that matter." I seem to remember Curry campaigning, publicly and privately, for this job way back when Katie Couric left. Wasn't she angling for this job for, like, a decade? And she seems to have done an awfully good job of pretending to like doing celebrity interviews and cooking segments and deeply "sensitive" issues with victims du jour where she can be so, so caring while asking really intrusive questions. Am I misreading this or is Ann Curry getting some really good PR help these days?

I think you've summed up the situation very well. Curry, let's not forget, carved out a niche for herself on "Today" as the go-to gal when the show needed someone to jump off a bridge, or out of a plane, etc.

Do you think the drop in ratings may be actually due to programming instead of Ann Curry?

I believe it is a combination of both. NBC does very poorly in primetime, many argue in her defense, saying it hurts the network's morning infotainment show the next morning. But Leno's show clocks the most late night viewers...On the other hand, it is true that ABC's "Good Morning America" usually does very well the morning after "Dancing with the Stars" elimination night, when "GMA" does its interview with the booted celebrity -- that really brings viewers in to "GMA." I think the moral of this story is that NBC should have developed a reality series in which celebrities did the competing, and got evicted every week, instead of  "The Voice." 

Looks like the ratings took a tumble for this week's Dallas. Is TNT still happy with under 5 million viewers (assuming it holds steady there)?

Oh yes. The second episode clocked 4.8 million viewers in its first telecast (premiere opened with 6.9 million). When ever you re-boot a classic like this, you're going to get a lot of curious people who simply want to see the first episode -- to see what Larry Hagman looks and sounds like, etc. -- who aren't necessarily going to continue to watch...hanging on to 5 million is pretty good. If that's the bottom, they'll be very happy. It was one of the most watched, if not the most watched, cable entertainment show of the night.

Lisa; You said re Todd Palin's appearance on this military themed competition: "The Palins have emerged as the Barrymores of reality TV." That line makes me declare I would love to bear your children, were I not a 64 year old man.

I appreciate the thought anyway!

Do you know how many episodes Lifetime bought of Bristol's "reality" show? On-line comments I've read are uniformly negative, with lots of "I won't be watching this again."

They ordered 10 episodes and are airing two back-to-back each wee, so it will all be over in five short weeks...

What ever you may think of Ann Curry, the way this whole situation has been handled has been pretty ugly. Since I'm deep into "Bring up the Bodies" may I just say that it now appears Matt Lauer is morning TV's Henry VIII, and his future co-anchors may want to hold tight to their pretty heads?

Matt's not to blame -- the ratings are to blame... If the show was doing very well in the ratings, NBC probably would not entertain the idea of dumping one of the anchors... Meanwhile CORRECTION: Lifetime has ordered 14 episodes of "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" and is airing two each week. The original reality series that was to have starred Bristol, Tripp and Kyle and Christopher Massey, was a 10-episode order from Lifetime's cable sibling BIO channel -- both are owned by A&E Television Networks.

Seasons 1 and 2 were great but Season 3 really took a nosedive... will it be back for Season 4?

No word yet on season 4 of  "The Big C"

Please restore my faith in humanity by telling me the ratings for this show were horribly horribly low.

Tuesday's premiere of "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" attracted just 726,000 viewers. That's less than half the 1.8 million viewers who had watched the show Lifetime telecast immediately before the debut, "Dance Moms." Among women 18 to 34, "Life's a Tripp" plunged 50 percent compared with Lifetime?s previous four-week average in the time slot. The story was much the same among women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54.

When I read a review of Bristol Palin's show, I thought that the description of her dodging the spotlight was sarcasm. But then I saw the commercial and...my god. How can someone have zero self-awareness? How were the ratings?

Equally revealing was the scene in the first episode in which she got into the altercation with the guy at the bar who said crude things about Palin's mom and Bristol was seen leaving the joint and calling mom on her cell phone to tell her what happened and say she could not believe this is what her life had become -- as a reality-TV camera crew is following her out of the bar she visited for the sake of being seen riding a mechanical bull in the bar. It was a very ironic scene.

What summer show should I make sure I watch? I was looking forward to "Newsroom" but I've read multiple bad reviews of it. Does anything look good to you?

It's a great summer for TV: Aaron Sorkin's new what's-wrong-with-TV-news drama "The Newsroom" debuts June 24. USA's "Political Animals" debuts July 15, starring Sigourney Weaver as not-Hillary Clinton, and the wonderful Ciaran Hinds as not-Bill Clinton. Charlie Sheen's new FX trainwreck "Anger Management" debuts June 28. "Snooki & JWOW" kicked off last night. Final season of "Breaking Bad" debuts July 15 though you, like me, may be kind of over that one. And last, but very much not least, Showtime's fabulous  Matt LeBlanc comedy, "Episodes" debuts July 1 (along with the start of the final season -- thank goodness -- of  "Weeds")

Do you really think replacing Ann Curry alone will fix "Today"? I think they've become very stagnant and Matt Lauer is a bore. The zing is gone.

It will very much depend on who they name to replace her and, yes, what other things they do to make the show more attractive to viewers, Curry not being the show's only problem. See earlier answer about "Dancing with the Stars" interviews on "GMA"....

Hey, Pookie: I'm not a regular 'Today' show viewer as it doesn't fit into my morning routine ~ I'd rather listen to 'Morning Edition' on NPR. However, what's all the hub-bub behind 'Today' wanting to banish Ann Curry from the set of 30 Rock and into the far reaches of the globe? Is the chemistry between her and Matt Lauer that bad?

It's bad, and Curry is not a good fit for the "role"...Here's our photo gallery of "Today" hosts through the ages and, if you flip through and read the captions, you'll see that the practically perfect "Today" host is definitely a personality type....

I think this is the best thing to happen to morning TV since Barbara Harrison moved to midday. Sure, "Today" has other problems -- the constant shilling of reality shows (but maybe that just means that I am not the demographic they are going for), the reliance on right-wing pundits in the "newsy" first half-hour (though that seems to have tapered off -- maybe that conservative producer who promoted that practice has left the show?). But I've never liked Curry. She asks particularly dumb follow-up questions (even by newsfluff standards) and she way, WAY overdoes the we-all-feel-your-pain stuff. So, who's next? They seem to have been grooming Savannah Guthrie, unless it's considered too soon for her.

She's considered the frontrunner, it would appear, in the betting as to the replacement...

Is this actually going to be filmed at the Cemetary? Shouldn't the low ratings for "Glass House" have been revenge enough for CBS head Les & his his robotic wife?

Pookie, it was as gag announcement by CBS...

Or something like that. Lisa, are memories really so short that the Today show is about to have a Pauley/Norville All About Eve redux?

Well, except the public perception in the earlier situation was that the younger, blonder Deborah Norville had forced out Jane Pauley, whereas in this new scenario, Meredith Vieira made the decision she wanted to leave and NBC was not happy to see her go... Apparently they even talked to her about coming back, as they have been trying to figure out how to fix "Today" ratings woes...

Sorry I missed last weeks chat, Pookie. How did the Tonys do rating-wise? I thought the show was pretty bad. This is especially true of the speeches. Cleverness gave way to thanking everybody -- just like the Oscars. Oh, boy.

The Reporters Who Cover Television made much of the fact that Sunday's trophy show, hosted for the third time by Neil Patrick Harris, scored a low 6 million viewers, despite airing on a night heavy with repeats. The previous record low was 6.22 million viewers, set in 2007. The problem with this year's Tony Awards is that it was jammed with performances (in theory that's a good thing) and they were all very dull. That's because major contenders for Sunday's statuette dispensing included a re-staging of the 1935 opera "Porgy and Bess"; a re-staging of the 1949 play "Death of a Salesman"; a re-staging of the 1970 play "Jesus Christ Superstar"; a re-staging of another '70s play, "Godspell"; a re-staging of still another '70s play, "Follies"; a re-staging of a hit 1990 movie, "Ghost"; a re-staging of a dud 1992 movie, "Newsies," and a new musical set in the 1920s that recycles George and Ira Gershwin tunes of that era...zzzzzz......

So she stays in LA for only a couple of episodes and then goes back to Wasilla? Not very entertaining, it seems! Does she reveal how she got pressured to name her kid Tripp?

Here my theory: the producers had to have her return to Alaska, so that the show would be different enough from the original show sold to BIO with the Massey brothers attached, in which she lived in a big house with them in Los Angeles...except they wanted to salvage some of the footage from the original shooting, especially that scene in the bar with the mechanical bull, so the "new" show became this mish-mash of coming to Los Angeles/returning to Alaska... And, the Masseys sued the producers anyway, claiming the show is a ripoff of the one they conceived, pitch, sold and were to have starred in.....

When do the Reporters Who Cover Television gather again to review/mock the new fall shows?

Summer Press Tour 2012 kicks off Saturday, July 21. I'll be there to cover...

OMG - I've been humming "On the Street Where You Live" all day since hearing it on the radio this morning. LOVE that song.

Brett did not do his own singing...

I have to disagree about Jeremy Brett - I think his Holmes is too precious (and theatrical) for words. I still remember watching the Holmes series that was on in the 50's, with Ronald Howard (son of Leslie Howard). Much more understated.

I, on the other hand, love the theatricality...isn't it nice we have so many versions from which to chose....

I loved Sports Night, should I check out the Newsroom? What else is worth watching this summer? So far I've been bored with most of the summer season offerings.

Yes, you should check out "Newsroom" if you like "Sports Night" and are a fan of Sorkin and a serious student of television though you, like our TV critic Hank Stuever, may be disappointed...I think his shows are always worth checking out...

i would watch today again now that Ann is leaving. woohooo.

You are in good company, judging by the number of people who have responded similarly to my column coverage and on this chat... and yet, she has many fans too..

I watched the First Minister's appearance online and I have to imagine there were a lot of people who were pretty baffled by the whole thing, given that Craig's Scots' burr grew more and more pronounced the longer he did the interview. What was really interesting was the number of tweeted questions that were absolutely serious--someone asked about the progress of a hydroelectric project.

You gotta wonder why Craig picked that question as one he would read on air.. Who's going to know what the heck that's about except the person who tweeted it?

The reference of Ann Curry being the go-to gal when NBC needs someone to jump off a bridge reminds me: Am I the only one who hates it when news anchors are asked to do things to become the story? For example, I don't want to see where they went to high school or doing other people's jobs as GMA anchors have done. I don't care where Matt Lauer is or want to see him or his colleagues jump after bridges. Just give me the news and don't make yourselves the story!

Wow, you are SO not in the majority... I'm not a fan of "it's about me" journalism either, but that does seem to be the trend...

My daughters have gotten hooked on "Bunheads," and I find myself watching with them just to see Sutton Foster in action. How is it doing in the ratings so far? (for the sake of preserving stability in the universe, I will add that it is even better than "My Boys")

Thank you for that... and "Bunheads" averaged 1.64 million viewers this week...

I don't get it. Isn't **everything** on TV pretty much an imitation of everything else? Did all these cable networks just independently come up with these storage locker and pawn broker shows? Once you have a musical Western with zombies and it becomes a hit, then get ready for a half dozen musical Westerns with werewolves. So why the lawsuit?

Let's not forget CBS is the network that put on "The Talk" several years after ABC premiered "The View" -- and then ripped off its own shows with "The Chew" and "The Revolution."

I wish this were an hour show. It is not a serious sitcom, it is a drama with laughs!

Even the star, Edie Falco, doesn't think it's a comedy. WHen she picked up her first Emmy for the show, I think it was, she seemed bewildered/miffed, saying she doesn't do comedy. Which, among other things, was pretty unkind nick of the other actresses who do comedy and who were nominated for best comedy lead actress, and got beat out by Falco... It's nominated as a comedy because it's easier for a drama like this to win in the comedy derbies than it is to win in the drama competitions. Period.

Ann-out, Lisa-in, ratings would go nuts. It would be a bazinga moment

You're sweet, but I'd be awful.... I don't jump from bridges, for starters....

Maybe next year NBC should invite a bunch of former reality stars and other D stars to compete against each other on the Voice. I would probably watch that train wreck. Just a thought...

I'd watch...but I'll watch anything...

So.....what's the verdict on Charlie's return? Really a trainwreck?

Golly, I hope so..... Oh, you mean will it snag a lot of viewers and be financially successful? Yes.

What do you think of the Massey brothers' lawsuit: leg to stand on, or not? By the way, I couldn 't agree more about Jeremy Brett's dishiness in My Fair Lady. I think by the time he became Sherlock, various illnesses and the meds he had to use had taken their toll on his looks: still a striking-looking guy, though.

I think it depends on how much of the Los Angeles footage they use in the show.... my guess is they settle... pure speculation on my part.

More like "Sports Night" or "West Wing"? And, yes, the answer to that question makes a difference as to whether I watch.

I'm going with "West Wing," though I'm not sure why, given that "Sports Night" was also about a program...

God help me but II love this show Pookie! Sutton Foster is greeat as the next Lorelai Gilmore with quick banter and pop-culture references. Are the ratings doing well for it?

Quite well...1.64 million this week...

I can tell you I stopped watching Today while getting ready for work because of the non-news that was thrown at me every day. After the 10th time in a month Kate Gosslyn was on there I'd had enough. I avoid tabloids, and shows like ET and TMZ because that gossipy crap gets on my nerves. The Today show is just one more version of it with the weather thrown in. I was reruns of Home Imporvement in the morning now :-)

Like its competitors "Today" does "hard" news for about the first 20 minutes...if that's what you're looking for it's a fairly efficient way to get it in the morning...

Any idea how long her treatment is going to be?

No, I do not know...

Lisa, the "great summer" shows you mention don't appeal to me at all. I might watch Newsroom but only because of Sam Waterston. I would never watch Snooki & JWOW (or any Housewives shows or Bridezillas). I would rather stick needles in my eyes than watch American Idol. I have never watched Mad Men. So why am I reading this when you never say anything about the shows I like? And I don't like all this Bristol Palin hate. I know I'd have hated to have been a pregnant teenager in the national spotlight as she was, so I have some empathy for her.

Please tell me what shows you do like...

Has Craig Ferguson lost his impish appeal? I was honestly one of his biggest fans for the first 5 years, but it seems like's it's really fallen off. First the shows in Scotland, which were just boring and of amateurish quality, and, now that he's been back, it's like he's phoning it in, even with the Scottish First Minister the other night. Any idea as to what gives?

No, but I did not love the night the first minister was on the show either... My guess is he thought he had to dress up, and behave -- both bad calls...

OMG - Oprah interviewing the Kardashians. What happened to her all her minded ideas about TV? So desperate.

Ratings, ratings, ratings...

I was with some theatre people the other day discussing the Tony's. It was pointed out that nowadays there are two big problems: 1) By the time the awards happen, many of the nomianated shows have already closed. Since a lot of people like to watch so they can decide whether to see a particular show, they won't bother if that's no longer an option. 2) The bigger issue is that Broadway shows have gotten too expensive for many people to see. Even with the half-price ticket booth, prices are high. So again, why bother watching the Tony's if you know you can't afford to see the full shows?

I like to watch, even if I'm not planning a trip to New York any time soon, to watch the performances -- and fun acceptance speeches. This year's performances were awful -- why was Matthew Broderick wearing a clown suit of tails three sizes too big and why could he not have run a comb through his hair? -- and the acceptance speeches were uniformly tedious except for the speech given by James Corden, which others loved but gave me the creeps -- Really? she's the mother of your child -- a child born way back when you started rehearsing the show, and now, on national TV, you've decided you can't wait to marry her, because she "taught" you to say "we" instead of  "I"?  At age 33? After listening to that speech, I was left hoping she leaves him at the altar...

Have been seeing promos for this fall's series "Elementary," based on Sherlock Holmes but starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. But I wonder: wouldn't the best reworking of Conan Doyles' masterpieces star Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry? (And if so, who should play whom?)

Jonny Lee Miller is great in the pilot episode, and I have never been a big fan of his work.. I was pleasantly surprised...

I saw part of what I think was Ep#2 of Dallas. Ooh I love the way in each conversation there was a part when someone referred to something that happened in the past and both characters would get a faraway-dreamy look as they thought about the days gone by, and how THENEWGENERATION must now carry on!! How wonderfully awful!

It really is dreadful... In the best possible sense of the word "dreadful"....

I'm not a regular viewer, but Monday's show did seem less that perfect. The recurring theme of the pinched nerve didn't help. I think he still has lots of impish appeal.

Me too. He just needs to re-discver his inner imp... and do something about the pinched nerve, which was annoying...

I'd like to send kudos to the WaPo geniuses that put your chat up against the ethics chat. I'm having one hell of a time switching between the two threads. Your chatters, Pookie, are much more entertaining; but Brad's are so convinced of themselves! Fun for a boring Friday afternoon...

I love this juxtaposition... I want to compete against an ethics chat every week! Let's discuss something ethical right now and show them how it's done! Anyone out there got a TV ethical dilemna?

Wasn't Jeremy Brett's Holmes the most authentically true to the original novels?

I don't know if it was the "most" but they were very true to the books...

I did send you a post saying what I like in the summer. I like Drop Dead Diva, Leverage, White Collar, Rizzoli & Isles, Franklin & Bash, Fairly Legal, Bunheads, Common Law, Pregnant in Heels, and Next Food Network Star--when I'm not watching the Nationals, that is (Tyler Clippard is a god!).

Your tastes are varied, like mine. Good!

Masterpiece Theater, Modern Family, and (forgive me!) Strike Back. I'm a girl and I watch Skinemax. Oh. Dear. Lord.

Speaking of varied -- and maybe even an ethical dilemna!

I'm not sure that many people watch to decide what shows to go see - at least, not enough to move the ratings needle - but they watch precisely because they will likely never get to go see. Isn't it possible that, like everything else on the networks during the cable era, the ratings will continue to trend downward for the Tonys until it reaches whatever the niche audience will ultimately be for such a show? NPH was great, by the way. He always seems to be.

He's terrific and I wish the movie academy would get off its high horse and ask him to host the Oscars.. He'd be terrific... Oh, but ABC would have to agree too, and that will never happen...

While it's true that last year two of the biggest performance pieces were the very current & hot "Book of Mormon" and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" (guess they couldn't wait until the show got nominated for a Tony itself), the two BEST numbers on last year's show were from two revivials: "How to Succeed" and "Anything Goes." It's not the age, it's the quality. Last year, even the revivals were hot tickets. This year, not so much.

And the Tony performances of those revivals were awful on the show, which brings me back to Matthew Broderick again. I'm actually seriously asking: why was he wearing a clown suit in his number? I have not seen the production. Is that a plot point? that he gets stuck wearing a fat man's eveningwear?

Hey, Pookie: My wife and I enjoy watching Craig Ferguson's monologues. They're like nothing that any other late-night host is crafting ~ lovely, funny and totally unpredictable. However, we realize that some day, David Letterman is going to retire and Craig would be the likely successor. Yet, it worries us to if Craig gets promoted to take over for Dave, it would mean Craig could no longer be so loose and unpredictable ~ let alone spend a week in Scotland. While some have been critical of those shows, we thought they were enjoyable for their unpredictability and they were conversational, too. Thoughts?

You have just described, perfectly, what happened to Conan O'Brien when he took over "Tonight Show"... I think part of it was his own doing -- he seemed intimidated and too in awe of the show's "legacy" -- could not stop talking about it....And, the network wanted him to "broaden out" his audience, which meant blanding him down.... It was a disaster. My greatest fear is that CBS will go after Jon Stewart to replace Letterman when Dave retires. Don't forget, CBS, many years ago, had an option on Stewart for a late night show. This was before Stewart got "The Daily Show." The reason it did not happen is that CBS suits fell in love with -- hope you're sitting down -- Craig Kilborn, who at the time was star of, yes, you guessed it, "The Daily Show." So they let Stewart's option expire and went after Kilborn. Who went to CBS and was awful, leaving "The Daily Show" open for Stewart, who turned it from a blah little show into a cultural phenom...

I've got one! I actually wrote about it in a previously submitted comment to this chat. I am an otherwise self-respecting woman in my 30s, but I find guilty pleasure in a Cinemax series. The show is misogynistic, full of dated stereotypes, and cannot go one week without showing nude women -- but I find myself watching every time! Do I owe it to my philosophy to stop watching and condemn this show for the crap that it is? Or, am I permitted to be a hypocrite and enjoy the brain candy? ACK!!!

Thank you for your ethical dilemna. My advice is to condemn it for what it is, while continuing to monitor it -- every week...

Why not mix things up one week and have you do the Reliable Source, have them do Haxx, make the ethics guy watch a week of tv so he can do your chat. Have the book fellow do the celebritology, have them do travel and have Tom be Gene Weingarten!

Count me in... I want to be Hax next week...

Are people really watching The Choice and Take Me Out?

"Take Me Out" -- about 3 million viewers last night.

"The Choice" -- about 4 million.

"Take Me Out" -- 3rd in its timeslot among 18-49 year olds

"The Choice" -- 2nd.

I know that there are different guidelines for "what's a good rating?" for basic cable than for broadcast webs. But what are they? You said that Bunheads had a good number at 1.64 M, but that's less than a third of the Dallas number, and I have a vague memory of you saying that USA hoped to get 4 M for their new summer shows. Are there any rules of thumb, or does each show get a different number? (This was so much easier when we could use shares-of-sets-in-use; just add up ABC, NBC, and CBS and it's 100!)

Yes, it used to be much easier... You have to judge a show's success based on what that network is used to performing in the timeslot, or in primetime, etc... USA is the country's most watched cable network, so it's threshold for success is going to be much higher than many other, less well-watched, cable nets.. It's all about ratings growth..

I'll say it again, if Dancing On The Stars included dancing on the backs of the losers & runners-up from that *other* show, I'd totally watch!

I would actualy watch if it was shot at Hollywood Forever Cemetery...

Why? How much longer do we have to put up with these I love SYTYCD and am sad to learn that instead of a results show, those shows will be on TV.

It's my theory that "The Choice" and "Take Me Out" are on because nobody at Fox has the nerve to say "no" to Mike Darnell...

I keep wondering how much better Jeremy Piven would be in that role instead of Jeff Bridges... And I'm only basing that on the promos.

Jeff Bridges is great....

Your critical poster wrote: "I know I'd have hated to have been a pregnant teenager in the national spotlight as she was, so I have some empathy for her." So this person doesn't understand the utter hypocrisy of making a reality TV show on which you are shown complaining that you can't stand all the attention you're getting? The answer to that is, of course, to go to a small town in Wyoming, find a convenience store job, and live in a doublewide while raising your child as a single mother. There, problem solved.

I too believe that once someone signs up to star in a TV show, or on a movie, they forefeit the right to complain about being in the spotlight...It's the price of the ticket...

It's become a total embarrassment with 2 unqualified daughters of former presidents (Bush and Clinton) now "reporters" or "special correspondents" based on who their daddies are, plus an almost total absence of actual news.

I don't think the neoptism casting has done them any good, ratings-wise... Don't know if it has done NBC News any good in terms of access, etc....I'm out of time. Thank you for joining me and hope to see you next week!

In This Chat
Lisa de Moraes
Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites. de Moraes worked for a decade as the television editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry trade paper, where she was routinely on the receiving end of more shouting phone calls from TV suits than Paula Abdul's manager.

When she upgraded to The Washington Post in 1998, a well-known executive producer called to suggest she have someone else start her car, but her trenchant writing (and refusal to use words like "trenchant") earned her the following praise from the brilliant, handsome media observer at Slate: "She writes like a wicked bitch." Wikipedia has called her "a noted television columnist," but they're often unreliable. It's pronounced "deh more ICE."

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