Katie Couric's Oprah Try Fails, Kathy Griffin Back on CNN for New Year's Bash

As expected, ABC has cancelled Katie Couric's failed attempt to replace Oprah Winfrey as queen of the afternoon chat show, which comes after her failed attempt to replace Dan Rather in the CBS anchor chair. ABC delicately announced Couric “mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show.” Staffers learned just hours before their “holiday party,” and as “a consolation, staffers received cashmere gloves as a holiday gift from Couric.” The show finishes taping episodes in June.

Meanwhile, something that should be cancelled just keeps on running like an Energizer bunny of scandal. For the seventh year in a row, CNN is once again bringing on Kathy Griffin to do embarrassing things to Anderson Cooper on New Year's Eve and make him giggle like he's 15 years old again. Kissing Cooper's crotch live on the "worldwide leader in news" last year is apparently all positive.

Our Noel Sheppard, the sturdy soul who voluntarily sits through this program, wrote that Griffin boasted on Conan O'Brien's show on TBS on January 23 that  "They did actually get the highest ratings since 2008, and I think it's because I kissed Anderson's sardine. I really do."

It could be worse. CNN was rumored to be testing a regular Anderson-Griffin mess. She must work cheap.

Katie Couric did not, since Katie's company grossed an estimated $20 mil a year -- not all of that went to Katie personally. It was the prohibitive cost that killed the show, reports Deadline.com:

Its numbers eventually leveled off and Katie remained No. 1 in households among all freshmen for the entire season, but was running neck and neck with fellow rookie Steve Harvey, which edged Katie in the key women 25-54 demographic for the second part of the season.

There has been more of the same this fall. Katie never broke through to join the upper echelon of talkers like Dr. Phil and Ellen but never tanked either. However,  while ratings have been decent overall, the show didn’t do enough for its core ABC station group, posting time period declines and hurting the stations’ newscast that follow it. And Katie‘s biggest problem was its big price tag, said to be $30 million-$40 million a year.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis