*CBS is putting its morning show anchors to work in prime time.
Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell of “CBS This Morning” will pivot from a hard news focus to straight fluff as the network’s red carpet correspondents for tonight’s Hollywood Film Awards.
King is slated to host a pre-show event (with Mo Rocca of “CBS Sunday Morning”) on CBS while both she and O’Donnell will interview attendees in the 10 p.m. hour – one of the first times the “CBS This Morning” crew has made the journey to primetime in this non-traditional fashion, reports Variety.
CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler reached out to CBS News President David Rhodes in hopes of securing “a classy, interview-driven show” to air after the awards programming wrapped, explained Ryan Kadro, senior broadcast producer of “CBS This Morning.”
“They will be live, with a pretty cool set-up,” said Kadro. “There’s just one way out of the [Hollywood] Palladium: All 600 people attending that night are going to have to walk by our anchor position.”
The Hollywood Film Awards, which recognize “excellence in the art of cinema and film-making,” have been viewed skeptically in the past The kudos are the brainchild of entrepreneur Carlos de Abreu and are based on the selections of a revolving committee of 12 entertainment-industry insiders. There have not been nominee announcements in the past, and recent HFA winners have included movies that had yet to appear in theaters at the time of their victory.
King will not be wide-eyed when she interviews celebrities, said Kadro. She is a longtime confidante of Oprah Winfrey and may feel more comfortable among the uber-famous than other TV journalists.”There’s a familiarity,” he said, while noting King takes preparing for interviews quite seriously. King and O’Donnell will be accompanied by pre-taped segments and interviews, and the third member of the “CBS This Morning” on-air team, Charlie Rose, will appear in some of those, Kadro said.
Will “CBS This Morning” show up in evening again any time soon? Kadro said future appearances after 8 p.m. are always possible, but noted “We are totally focused on the morning,” where executives truly want to see the show take the number-two spot.