How Cronkite must hate these new ‘news’ shows

  • By Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, For The Associated Press
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Fox is rolling out two “news shows”: a sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton as fictional news anchors in Pittsburgh, and an unscripted show starring a former bikini model-turned-anchorwoman in Texas.

Unveiled at a Television Critics Association gathering here this week, both series are meant to deliver laughs – and ratings – but not necessarily headlines. That makes Grammer’s job a whole lot easier.

“Based upon my knowledge of most television newscasting now, it has nothing do with the news anyway,” Grammer said at a Sunday session. “I’m very happy to just be another performer pretending to be a performer,” added the former “Frasier” star, who will be back on the air this fall in the series “Back to You.”

Then at a Monday TCA meeting, Fox introduced “Anchorwoman,” a reality show debuting Aug. 21 about a local TV station that tries to prove beauty, not news experience, drives broadcast news in Tyler, Texas.

The subject of much derision among journalists, bikini model and former WWE diva Lauren Jones fielded questions from the TV critics about “Anchorwoman,” which follows her through a 30-day trial by fire as the newest anchor on KYTX-TV’s 5 p.m. newscast.

“I was given the opportunity to live my dream,” said the micro-mini-skirt-wearing Jones. “I always wanted to be an anchorwoman, and this was the opportunity to take the bull by the horns.”

Hoping to boost ratings for his CBS affiliate, station owner Phil Hurley partnered with reality maverick Brian Gadinsky (“American Idol”) to put the buxom blonde on the air – sans any formal journalism training.

“There was an expectation or a stereotype that she was not going to take it seriously. That she was just there to further her own bikini modeling career,” Gadinsky said. “But when she got there … everybody fell in line, and she surprised them.”

Having survived her 30-day initiation, Jones says she’s now fielding offers. But she’s also in negotiations to stay on at KYTX.

“We’re trying to make the best decision if we’re going to proceed forward. That’s definitely an option right now, and it looks like a pretty good one,” said Jones, a graduate of New York’s Parson School of Design who considers Katie Couric a role model.

Although the station has made no formal contract offer, Hurley says he’d like to keep her on the anchor desk. “But I’m afraid I’ll lose her. … She knows what we can pay.”

Talk to us

More in Life

Local artist Gabrielle Abbott with her mural "Grateful Steward" at South Lynnwood Park on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Lynnwood, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood mural celebrates the Earth and those who care for it

Artist Gabriella Abbott will discuss “Grateful Steward,” her mural at South Lynnwood Park, in a virtual event April 22.

Peter Rivera and his band will perform April 24 at the Historic Everett Theatre. Rivera was the lead singer for 1970s hitmakers Rare Earth. (www.peterrivera.com)
With Everett gig, Peter Rivera celebrates another day of living

The Rare Earth lead singer and drummer headlines a show Saturday at the Historic Everett Theatre.

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Ron Rois, left, and his partner, Stefen Bosworth, are transplants from the Chicago area with roots in the Pacific Northwest. They are the owners of Langley's newest restaurant, Savory.
New Whidbey Island restaurant serves ‘eclectic comfort food’

Owners Stefen Bosworth and Ron Rois offer cozy dining overlooking Saratoga Passage.

The beer is flowing again at Snohomish County breweries as COVID-19 restrictions ease. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)
Drink This: Raise a pint to breweries that survived COVID-19

The Herald’s beer aficionado enjoyed a beer crawl from Everett’s At Large Brewing to 5 Rights in Marysville.

Shrimp scampi -- paired with an islandtini -- is a best seller at The Kitchen at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino. (Quil Ceda Creek Casino)
Taste of Tulalip: Pair shrimp scampi with an islandtini

The Italian-American seafood dish is a best seller at The Kitchen at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino.

Fattoush is a chopped Levantine salad made with stale pita. This includes shredded chicken tossed in a citrusy tahini-sumac dressing. (Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS)
Eat This: Fattoush with chicken and tahini-sumac dressing

The Mediterranean salad is made with chopped lettuce, cucumbers, radishes and fried or baked pita bread.

When Transient Global Amnesia strikes, the past three months become hard to remember. (Jennifer Bardsley)
The Friday I forgot is one to remember

A sudden — thankfully, temporary — episode of memory loss gave me an opportunity to reflect.

John D. Osterman at 98 years old. (Jeanne-Marie Osterman)
An Everett native pays a poetic tribute to her father

“Shellback” is a collection of narrative poems honoring John D. Osterman, a lifelong Everett resident and WWII veteran.

Horizontal double headlights and an enormous grille are key players in the 2021 Genesis G80 redesign. (Manufacturer photo)
Genesis gains ground with 2021 makeover of G80 luxury sedan

It offers two new engines, top-notch design, zesty performance, blue-ribbon build quality and value.

Most Read