Common Bond: The Stephanopoulos-Obama Connection

By Chris Ariens Comment

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

GS_11.20.jpgLike somebody else in Washington, “This Week’s” George Stephanopoulos doesn’t want his two young daughters on TV.

“They’re not allowed to do interviews,” he jokes, referring to six-year-old Elliott and three-year-old Harper. (Type A Elliott “is an intense little girl. She’s fun to watch.” Harper, a B, “is quite laid back.” Guess which one takes after dad?)

When the Obama family sat down with “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos in July for its first – and only – interview, Stephanaopoulos was struck most by the reaction of the President-elect.

“I think he realized, as it was happening, that maybe he ought to pull back a little bit,” he says. “He and his wife are really focused on protecting their daughters.”

Ditto for Stephanopoulos and his wife, Ali Wentworth.

When one’s kids are on camera, “There’s an unreality to it that might not be healthy,” he says. “I’m not sure what consequences would be, but I don’t particularly want to test it.”

Speaking of tests, ABC’s “This Week” is a solid No. 2 in the Sunday-morning wars, ahead of Bob Schieffer’s “Face the Nation” on CBS and behind NBC powerhouse “Meet the Press,” with interim anchor Tom Brokaw.

Ironically, “This Week” can’t seem to crack Washington, where it’s behind “Fox News Sunday.” (Nationally, however, “This Week” doubles Fox News’ numbers.) A few weeks ago, “This Week” was No. 1 in every Top 10 market – except You Know Where.


Stephanopoulos doesn’t like the question. “You’re kidding. I’m just happy we’re doing well where we’re doing well. New York, L.A., Chicago, Philly, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Houston are important, too.

“I’d like to win everywhere, but which would I rather have – twice as many viewers nationally or win one market?”

As for who will grab the brass ring at “Meet the Press,” “I can’t wait to find out,” he says. “Brokaw’s done a great job. He’s a terrific booker. I would have loved to have had Colin Powell. It was a great get.”