December 28, 2005

Stephen A. What?

A real head-scratcher in Scoop Jackson's ESPN.com year-in-review column, on "things that mattered" in '05:

When "Quite Frankly" aired on Aug. 1, 2005, it broke down a barrier that had been up for over a decade. And the following sentence is no disrespect to Bryant Gumbel, Michael Wilbon, John Saunders, Montell Williams, Orlando Jones or DL Hugley, but ... not since they pulled Arsenio Hall off the air in 1994 has a black man had his own talk show -- or been slated to host one with his name in the title. The fact that Stephen A. was given the format to do him -- to be himself, unscripted, unapologetic, unleashed -- was historical in the landscape of broadcast television.
Say what? Didn't Gumbel, Wilbon, Saunders, Williams, Jones and Hughley all have their own shows? In Gumbel, Jones, and Hughley's case, with their names in the title? Do those not count as real talk shows? Do the hosts not count as black? Did they not break barriers themselves?

And more importantly, doesn't the fact that, despite the most hyped launch in the network's history, "Quite Frankly" got lower ratings than billiards used to get in the same timeslot, sort of indicate that "Quite Frankly" doesn't matter so much after all? Especially since itís clear no one wants to watch a screaming buffoon doing a bad, hip-hop-inflected Howard Cosell impression? I thought so.

Another reason not to read Scoop: he actually likes those creepy commercials with four different LeBron Jameses.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 28, 2005 08:22 PM
Comments

Calling Stephen A. Smith's program "Quite Frankly": "historical in the landscape of broadcast television." has as much merit as the "revolution" that Mia and crew brought to sports through Women's Soccer.

Posted by: Mike Cunningham at December 28, 2005 11:34 PM

SAS is annoying but honestly, the hating on his show is beyond anything I can understand. Is there a single show that has better guests? Anything come even close? I'm with you on the whole breaking barriers thing, it's silly. But can we please stop ripping on the show for just a second.

Posted by: panoptican at December 28, 2005 11:40 PM
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