It's a new morning
Wragge & Hill stick to the basics on revamped Early Show
All the same factors that The Today Show invented were showcased on the CBS morning show (7-9 a.m., Channel 11) — attractive anchors, chirpy banter, a weather forecaster (Marysol Castro) doing stand-ups outside the New York studio in front of a cheering crowd, and the same format. It began with hard news during the first half-hour, before switching to softer features like how to fight the post-holiday blues, how to stay flu-free and how to diet with a mandatory daily dose of dark chocolate as the show progressed.
It also included silly segments, like when Castro joined the Polar Bears Club in Brooklyn for a New Year's Day dip but only stayed in the water at ankle level for a few seconds, and a cross country tour the new morning team took to show that they really like each other and they're just like us (although I'm not sure after seeing news reader Jeff Glor's Zoolander impersonation).
During the stop in Houston (in which the back of my head is shown on-camera), Wragge & Co. insisted in an interview that they weren't trying to invent a new kind of morning show — and they didn't. Nothing about it was remotely offensive, but it wasn't terribly exciting, either.
I can't imagine the new show attracting viewers who don't already watch morning TV, and there's precious little to entice current morning viewers to switch from Matt and Meredith or Robin and George. As the third place morning show, trailing Today and Good Morning America, The Early Show often has to scramble for interviews and the best they could do on the debut show was an exclusive interview with Lindsay Lohan's father.
But Hill and Wragge, who anchored the CBS Saturday morning show for two years with Glor as news reader, have an easygoing rapport and seem to actually like each other. That might be enough to boost ratings a little, and in the lucrative world of morning TV, a little upward movement means a lot.