CJR’s Robert Weintraub is not a fan of Tiki Barber. At least not TV’s Tiki Barber. In reviewing MSNBC’s Olympic Update, Weintraub writes the show “looks to replicate a morning show vibe during the cocktail hour. But as far as Barber is concerned, it’s Amateur Hour…he’s becoming appointment television, and not for the right reasons…precious few have been handed such prestigious announcing slots with so little experience…Barber has his dream gig, apparently, but this viewer, for one, would prefer he don shoulder pads and helmet again.”
And Rick Kushman of McClatchy Newspapers pulls out the sabre for co-anchor Jenna Wolfe and her “Mean-Girl insults about coaches, athletes, even a weightlifter who got hurt — and her saying, ‘This is what bothers me.'”
“You feel bad for Barber, who at least tries to be professional, because they all end up sounding like adults trying to be cool teens. But they aren’t funny enough or insightful enough to be anything but icky,” Kushman writes.
The reviews aside, the ratings for Olympic Update have been stellar. The NYTimes’ Bill Carter, writes the show “increased its audience on Monday night 252% compared with the previous Monday. The network’s prime-time lineup, which followed, was up 30%.” And through Wednesday, MSNBC has won the 5pm hour in Total Viewers and the 5-7pm time period in the A25-54 demo among the cable news networks.
TVNewser hears Olympic Update was added to the MSNBC schedule late in the game. You have to wonder what more planning might have meant. But if the numbers hold, the criticism might be meaningless.
(hat tip ICN)