Circling and spinning down the drain. Soon to be just a gurgle.
Buried beneath more hoopla over Mel Gibson (and isn’t this possibly one of the greatest PR campaigns ever?) is this little tidbit about putative funnyman Dennis Miller:
Dennis Miller’s CNBC show has been on the schedule for only three weeks, and already they’ve brought in someone to fix it. Steve Friedman is heading to Los Angeles today to work as a consultant on the show for the next two months.
Friedman flew out west last week to meet with Miller and senior producer Eddie Feldmann before accepting the gig. “I think they’ve got a good start and I think I can help them as they evolve into a signature program for CNBC,” the longtime “Today” executive producer told The TV Column yesterday.
“Dennis Miller is a comedy genius and a talk show host; the question is, how to do both elements in one show,” Friedman said.
Miller opened with a bang, averaging nearly 750,000 viewers with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a guest. But the show has never repeated that performance, dipping under 200,000 on occasion.
Friedman said there’s no chance he will stick around longer than the two months because he has to get back to executive-produce the fourth telecast of his PBS newsmag “Flashpoints.” That show is hosted by Bryant Gumbel, for whom Friedman also exec-produced CBS’s morning newsmag when Gumbel headlined it, and Gwen Ifill.
I don’t think that Friedman should have to worry about sticking around for two months. At its current rate of audience decline, the Miller show isn’t even buying green bananas for the Green Room.