Seth Meyers is ‘in love’ with SNL, not so much being the new Regis Philbin

July 10, 2012

“SNL” head writer Seth Meyers took time from his busy week — from guest co-hosting Kelly Ripa’s show to honing material for next week’s night of standup at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in South Florida — to phone the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He called to deny a report that he’s the front-runner to replace Regis Philbin as Permanent Person to Be Upstaged by Ripa on her daytime talker.

Really?! And the news had come from such a reliable source! Just last week — as Meyers prepared to begin a five-day stint as Guest Person to be Upstaged by Ripa — the Hollywood gossip Web site Showbiz 411 reported that Meyers was in the lead to replace Rege on “Live! With Kelly.” Ripa’s been without a Permanent Person to Upstage since Rege threw in the towel in November.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Meyers said in a phone interview, adding snarkily: “I know [the subject of Rege’s replacement] is a very important thing down there.”

Because, of course, South Florida is filled with — really old people.

“I’m really in love with the job I have,” continued Meyers, who added: “I’m very excited to be going back [to “SNL”] for the election season, which is always fun.”


Comedian Seth Meyers says he’s not a front-funner to replace Regis Philbin on “Live! With Kelly.” (Jemal Countess/GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME WARNER)

But the South Florida Sun-Sentinel got the last laugh, noting that you can get tickets to watch Meyers perform on his one night at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek for as little as $35.

Is ‘Afternoon’ good?

The jury’s still out on the launch of ABC’s nine-week infotainment series “Good Afternoon America,” which attracted 1.923 million viewers Monday, according to early stats — 359,000 of them being 18- to 49-year-old chicks, who are the currency of daytime TV.

ABC went with “glass half full” in announcing the ratings of this one-hour spinoff of its “Good Morning America” franchise. The network said that the show, hosted by Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott, improved on the season average of the show it replaced — the now-canceled “The Revolution” — by 40 percent among viewers of all ages and by 21 percent among those 18- to 49-year-old chicks.

And by “season,” ABC means Jan. 16, 2012 — when the dimmest star in the “The” show firmament (also including ABC’s “The View” and “The Chew” and CBS’s “The Talk”) was unveiled — to June 29, which is the last broadcast for which Nielsen numbers are available. “The Revolution” was officially put out of our misery one week later, on July 6.

But if you compare the launch of “Good Afternoon America” (“GAA” to its pals) with the launch of “The Revolution,” it’s a different, glass-half-empty-ish story.

When it launched in January, “The Revolution” attracted 2.145 million viewers — nearly 450,000 of them 18- to 49-year-old chicks. Serious students of TV, however, know that in January (when days are cold and short), HUT levels — that’s Homes Using Television — are at a high. The July 4 week traditionally has the lowest HUT level of any week of the year, and the week right after that is no great shakes, either.

‘GMA’ tops ‘Today’

Speaking of “Good Morning America”:

The day that NBC trotted out Savannah Guthrie as the answer to its “Today” show ratings problem, rival “GMA” attracted more viewers.

On Guthrie’s first official day replacing Ann Curry as Matt Lauer’s co-host on NBC’s morning infotainment show, “Today” (4 million viewers) fell short of “GMA” (4.4 million), according to early stats.

“GMA” also beat “Today” among 25- to 54-year-old viewers.

If those numbers hold up when final ratings come in, it’ll be the first time the ABC show has outstripped the NBC show on a Monday since 2006.

“GMA” has been beating “Today” in the ratings some weeks of late — usually based on wins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Those are the days that “GMA” often features segments on ABC’s prime-time dance competition “Dancing With the Stars” from the previous night.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/
tvcolumn.

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