Between his nightly CNN show, his regular reporting duties for the network, and his frequent “60 Minutes” profiles (he is under contract to do six stories a year for the CBS news magazine), Anderson Cooper is a busy man. With his daily talk show set to debut September 12 in syndication, could the Silver Fox go from busy to overexposed?
“It’s certainly something I think about from time to time,” Cooper said. “From my understanding, the people who watch CNN – even people who say they love a show – maybe they watch one day a week and that’s considered high viewing.”
Besides, he added, “People just don’t watch TV every day – except me, of course.”
A laid back Cooper, speaking to a group of reporters at the Televisions Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, believes a difference in the type of viewers who tune in to his talk show versus his evening show will be key in avoiding overlap. “I think the audiences are so fragmented, and people get information from so many places, that I try not to worry about it,” he said.
Nor does he fear his new daytime show, aptly titled “Anderson,” will interfere with his ability to cover breaking news throughout the world. “It’s all very doable because I manage my time really well,” he said.
Although he has yet to tape his first show, the plan will be to shoot several episodes in advance and “bank” whatever possible for a rainy day. He’ll also have leeway to shoot episodes from anywhere in the world. “We can do full daytime shows from wherever I am,” he said. “We have complete flexibility to respond to events if we feel warranted.”
While crediting Phil Donahue as an influence (it’s not just the silver pate), and planning for audience participation, Cooper expects to put his own stamp on the format. “There’s plenty of people who I’ve watched,” he said. “But I will say I’m not trying to emulate anybody. You want to try to create your own path.”
That path will include getting to see a more personal side of Cooper – one which viewers of “Regis & Kelly” are already familiar with from his occasional guest co-hosting appearances. “[You’ll see] a lot more of my personal life than you see on the newscast,” he said. “I think it’s most compelling when it happens authentically. The key is that I’ve just tried to be real – and I want to bring that to daytime.”
“Anderson” debuts in syndication in 90% of the country on Monday, September 12.