Jan 18, 2011

Oprah Owns Piers Morgan in CNN Debut (Part II)

Oprah Owns Piers Morgan in CNN Debut - Celebrity Circuit - CBS News

British TV personality Piers Morgan has some very big shoes to fill and TV fans a cross the country will be watching when his show replaces Larry King in CNN's primetime lineup. King "hung up his suspenders" after 25 years on CNN Dec. 16.
Piers Morgan
 (Credit: GETTY)
If he'd watched this, Ricky Gervais might just have needed a very large handkerchief.
The debut of fellow Englishman Piers Morgan's talk show on CNN, the one in which he officially succeeded Larry King, showed none of Gervais' pointed exposition of celebrity at the Golden Globes.
Instead, Morgan's debut was a wonderful advertisement.
A wonderful advertisement for Oprah Winfrey's new OWN TV channel.
It was an advertisement in which Piers Morgan largely served as the announcer.
It was an advertisement in which the Celebrity Apprentice positively begged to be allowed into the inner sanctum of Celebrity's Board of Directors.
It even began with an advertisement for Oprah's new OWN channel, as if everyone should understand from the outset that this was product placement, not some in depth exploration of America's most popular woman.
Morgan's nerves showed in his voice, his eyes and his desperation to have physical contact with his guest.

Oprah looked benignly in his direction, as if he was a sweet, ambitious nephew whose mom had asked someone in the upper echelons of television to help him with his career.
She did her best. Hers, as she said, is the Love Brand. So she tried to sprinkle a little love-dust upon his tightly-woven eyebrows.
She called him good. Twice.
But she also told him that he was going to get nothing newsworthy, nothing controversial, nothing titillating.
In fact, by the end of the hour's show, what Oprah gave the well-prepped Morgan was nothing special.
Nothing other than a schooling in what it was to know your self and your brand and to be able to control how you are seen.
Morgan, in his British talk show, was able to get a mediocre singer and an equally mediocre prime minister to show genuine tears.
Here, he was more successful in getting Oprah to show genuine pity at the obvious methods he was using in the hope of eliciting a headline, a snippet of her life story that had never before been revealed.
Several times, she forced Morgan into the nervous laughter of a stair salesman who suddenly realizes he's in a ranch house.
Oddly, his reputedly large and healthy ego nudged him to try and equate himself with her.
Oprah explained that the end of her popular afternoon show wasn't the end of her career. She said: "I'm just getting started".
Morgan's nervous schoolboy jaw-jerked him into "Aren't we all?"
As if the two could somehow be compared.
Morgan clearly felt that flattery would get him everywhere.
"You are the American Queen," he told Oprah, sounding so very much like Tony Blair naming the dead Diana Spencer "The People's Princess".
Perhaps he might have tried to tell her something she doesn't know.
The blue cards he clutched in his no doubt ever-moisting palms seemed to hold no key, no provocation that Oprah couldn't have seen coming without so much as the opening of an eye or the sniffing of a breeze.
At one point, as if telling her audience not to worry, she spoke directly to the camera, rather than to him.
She wasn't going to forget who she was. And neither would he.
By the end, he was asking her how well he had done. She patted him on the head. Metaphorically, of course.
Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King tells the story of two British adventurers who become Kings in a remote part of Afghanistan. This Man Who Would Be King is a British man is trying to become King in a remote part of Atlanta.
He will feel vindicated in merely having been anointed with Oprah's presence.
His better tests will come should he manage to squeeze some snafu-laden news from an unsuspecting notable.
Perhaps Paris Hilton might admit she doesn't really like sex.
Oprah described her message like this: "I am the messenger to deliver the message of hope and redemption."
The Love Brand tried to give Morgan hope that he would not be in need of redemption.
She tried to make him believe that, one day, he will wake up and declare: "Bloody Hell, I'm Piers Morgan", just as he wondered whether she wakes up and thinks: "Bloody hell, I'm Oprah."
Wednesday, Morgan gets to interview Howard Stern. That should be far more his style.
Oh, and Thursday it's Ricky Gervais. Let's hope he tells Morgan what really went on in the restroom at the Golden Globes.

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