The Audience Is Missing

Why Did Anderson Cooper’s Talk Show Fail?

Daytime talk shows have been hard to sustain lately. Consider it the reverse Oprah effect. Oprah had that magic; that unique quality where an impactful and informative segment could have just as much of a positive influence on ratings as one meant to be mindless entertainment. But has our obsession with scripted reality TV made it impossible for new daytime talk shows to succeed?

Anderson Cooper launched “Anderson Live” produced by Telepictures with the hope that his clout as one of the most well respected journalists would translate into a ratings sensation. Cooper, who not only has dashing good looks, but the intelligence to match, couldn’t make that connection with his daytime talk show audience the way he does on Anderson360. While Cooper presented his talk show with more aptitude than those on rival networks, he did mesh in a dose of reality TV and other gratuitous topics to satiate daytime viewers. Unfortunately, despite his very likeable personality, many networks hosting his show began to quietly look for a replacement prompting Telepictures to decide against renewing Anderson Live for a third season.

So why did Cooper’s talk show fail? Simply put, the American public doesn’t appear ready to see a serious journalist host the same cookie cutter daytime talk show as his competitors. Known for investigative journalism, it’s difficult to see Cooper interview guests like June Shannon of Toddlers & Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo regarding her homemade Pixie Juice by day then report on breaking news and Middle East coverage by night. There’s a disconnect between the two that doesn’t make Live viable for the long term.

In fact, until a daytime talk show launches that doesn’t follow the same monotonous celebrity appearance/controversial topic/fluff platform, we predict many more will flat line.

Image via Benjamin Thompson / Flickr

Pierce Mattie

Pierce Mattie is a full-service marketing agency that interacts with consumers and key stakeholders at every stage of the journey. With a focus in beauty, health and wellness, we are immersed in the marketing landscape, able to powerfully communicate a brand’s point of difference to acquire and maintaining customers. The content team is obsessed with what's trending in the digital world, and how it intersects with consumer behavior. We are passionate about the changing landscape of the world, including how emergent technologies affect brand attachment, how diversity and inclusivity are critical to success, and where humans fit into the equation.

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