. . . Thursday August 12, 2004

CNBC’s Road Show That Wasn’t

How is John McEnroe’s new show doing over at CNBC? Well, he’s attracting about as many viewers as the average high school play. Twice already, he’s registered a 0.0 rating.

But here’s the rub. The show isn’t all that bad. He is uncomfortable and an odd interviewer, but enjoyably so. There are a few key problems. First, the Dennis Miller lead-in. Not only is Miller’s show terrible, it attracts exactly the type of audience that would flip back to Fox News instead of watching McEnroe. Second, the CNBC vibe just doesn’t make sense for McEnroe. Without any changes, I think Mac could do decent numbers on an edgier network like Comedy Central.

Is there any hope? I doubt it (although they’re sticking with the show for now). But here’s a tip for the folks at CNBC. Bring back Mac’s wife (and get rid of his current double’s partner). She was on the first show and the exchanges between them were among the most interesting in the show’s short life thus far. They could be a could combo and a husband-wife team would give the show a twist to attract a few new viewers. I’m not suggesting timeslot champs here, but I can almost guarantee such a move pumps McEnroe up to a solid 0.1.

And while we’re doling out advice. The folks on Mac’s show should seriously consider not mentioning tennis every segment. If we want to watch John talk about tennis, then why is he wasting his time on a primetime show? Drop it and let’s all meet at the U.S. Open.

Concentration is important!