Sunday, June 16, 2024

TV Updates: “The Wonder Years” Might Come Black to ABC; Shepard Smith Joins CNBC for Nightly News Show


Two TV updates this afternoon:

Shepard Smith is coming to CNBC. He’s going to host a nightly news show at 7pm after the financial stuff is over. He’ll be going up against, among others, Joy Reid, on MSNBC.

Shep was with Fox News for 23 years until his sane, droll newscasts proved too smart for that cauldron of chaos. CNBC had been wanting to position themselves for the election, and some thought they’d go right wing against Fox. Instead, they’ve hired the best Fox broadcaster who will just make them smart. They certainly can’t build a right wing night on Shep, but just maybe good programming.

Dan Colarusso, CNBC’s senior vice president of business news, said Smith’s program aims to go beyond financial markets, “to tell rich, deeply reported stories across the entire landscape of global news.”

THE WONDER YEARS may be coming back, this time with a black family. ABC is going to shoot a pilot exec produced by Lee Daniels and Fred Savage, star of the original show. Neil Marlens, who co-created the original, will be a consultant. With Lee there they have some cred, but this show would have to have a largely black writing and producing staff and showrunner. ABC did have Kenya Barris (“Blackish”) and Shonda Rhimes (everything) but they’ve decamped to Netflix. There’s going to have to be a strong black voice and vision if this is going to work, and ABC would have to deal with ideas about politics and race in the 60s and 70s they’ve so far largely ignored. I hope it happens.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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