In a conversation before a crowd of designers, programmers, and advertisers here at the PromaxBDA conference in Manhattan, Anderson Cooper touched on a variety of topics—from his love of seltzer water to drunk calls he’s received from reality TV stars. But the most substantive part of the chat centered on the new Warner Bros.-distributed daytime talk show Cooper is set to premiere in syndication this September, called Anderson.
Unlike his CNN news program Anderson Cooper 360 or his “on-assignment” work for 60 Minutes (which is sometimes hard news-focused but not always), Cooper’s new show will venture into new and decidedly softer territory. Anderson, he says, will “cover a broad spectrum of topics,” though, he adds, “I don’t think we’ll be doing a lot of politics. . . . There are so many places where viewers can get that.”
Without going into detail, Cooper told discussion moderator Erica Hill, co-anchor of CBS's The Early Show, that the tenor and format of the new show will likely be similar to some of the other daytime programming in the genre, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Live With Regis and Kelly. “I like daytime TV,” Cooper said. “I started watching Donahue when I was young. . . . On daytime you can tell stories you can’t really tell in an evening newscast.”
While Cooper did say that the show will cover some of the newsier subject matter he treats in his reportorial work, Anderson will follow his personal interests much more closely—and that includes a love of pop culture. “We think this will be the only show on the air that covers a broad spectrum of topics . . . For years in news I was ashamed to admit I watch [Bravo’s unscripted franchise] Housewives. Now that I’m at daytime TV, I can fully reveal that I like Housewives.”
Cooper, unsurprisingly, thinks that his reportorial reputation will remain untouched no matter how many reality stars he interviews during the day. “You can be very serious and very passionate about [serious news] and still like [Real Housewives of Atlanta star] NeNe Leakes,” he said. “People know that you can juggle different things.”