CNN toasted their newest host Mike Rowe at Hudson Mercantile on the far West Side of Manhattan tonight.
Next Wednesday Rowe takes his bow on the network with his new show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” Rowe says it’s not a continuation of his old Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs,” but rather an extension of a segment he did on “Evening Magazine” back in the early 2000s on San Francisco station KPIX.
“‘Dirty Jobs’ focused through the lens of dirt. This show will focus through the lens of people,” Rowe says. While the show is more than a decade in the making, getting it on CNN has taken considerably less time.
On his first day in January 2013, new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker spotted Rowe dining at the Landmarc in Time Warner Center. “I sat down and I said to him, ‘We want you on CNN.’ And here we are 18 months later. It took a little while, but here we are.”
Rowe says he told Zucker all he needed was “some jet fuel and an hour a week. One hour. One single hour where there’s absolutely, positively not going to be any bad news… Unless of course something breaks, and then I get it,” Rowe jokes, recognizing CNN’s primary mission.
Rowe says CNN is a great fit for his brand of reality TV, which he says has devolved over time. “CNN has always been a non-fiction network, with an eye on news,” he says. “But what’s going on in the rest of the industry, I’m not sure. I joked with Jeff, ‘The duck’s have a dynasty, the amish have a mafia and honey’s got a boo boo.”
Like Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Spurlock, John Walsh, and Lisa Ling before him, Zucker has big hopes for Rowe. “It will be the start of a long, and fruitful relationship with someone who I think is one of the best storytellers in all of television.”
In addition to cigar rolling station, 11-year-old DJ, caricature artist and ice sculptor (above) several CNN daytime anchors were there to support Rowe, including Ashleigh Banfield, Christine Romans, Michaela Pereira, John Berman, Robin Meade, Chris Cuomo, Brooke Baldwin, Carol Costello, Deborah Feyerick, Alisyn Camerota and Bill Weir who has been traveling the globe for a new series he’s working on for the network. More on that later.
“Somebody’s Gotta Do it” debuts Wednesday at 9pmET on CNN.