Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harry Connick Jr. Tunes Up a Talk Show

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harry Connick Jr. Tunes Up a Talk Show

Article excerpt

KTVI also adds "The Thread" at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays beginning Sept. 10. Tim Ezell, the station's former morning features reporter, and Virginia Kerr, who was co-host of KMOV's "Great Day St. Louis," promise to seek out "the thread of goodness that is weaving its way through the St. Louis community." "The Thread" will be repeated at 7 a.m. Sundays on KPLR (Channel 11).

Lots of others have failed, but Harry Connick Jr. is upbeat about taking his shot at the world of daytime talk. Better make that "talk variety." Or "music talk variety."

"Harry," arriving Sept. 12 in national syndication and airing locally on KTVI (Channel 2), will be all that, and anything else Connick wants it to be. The New Orleans native, 48, likes to keep things loose.

But of course music will be part of every day, Connick said when NBC Universal (which produces and distributes the show) introduced "Harry" to TV critics meeting in Los Angeles.

"Music's going to be done in a whole bunch of different ways, in spontaneous ways," said Connick, who will be backed by his own band of nine New Orleans musicians. "Sometimes I'll sing and play. Sometimes it will be a formal performance. Sometimes it will be that we play because we feel like playing."

Comedy will be a factor, too. Connick's executive producers include brothers Justin and Eric Stangel, who were head writers of "Late Show with David Letterman" from 1998 to 2013.

Critics wondered whether Connick, a frequent talk show guest, had learned skills from his interviewers.

"I've been up there with just about everybody," Connick said. "And there are people that I consider to be the best in the business. I think David Letterman, as far as a person who would ask questions and interact with a guest, was incredible."

But being a guest was also a learning process, he said, adding that he had learned what he liked about the process "and what I don't like so much." For example, "one of the things that I'm not a fan of is a preinterview. ... Then there's this undercurrent of rehearsal or preplanning that happens when you get out on the panel."

Connick said he would tell his guests, "Man, if you don't want to do a preinterview, it's my job to know everything there is to know about you, so don't worry about that, and we're just going to have a conversation. …

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