Is Eliot Spitzer's New CNN Show Already Set To Tank?

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Folks are still puzzling over CNN's decision to give disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer an 8 p.m. talk show on the network. Spitzer, who left Slate to join the network last month, resigned as governor in 2008 amidst a prostitution scandal. Here's what people have been saying:

  • Spitzer Came Cheap  CNN was able to land Spitzer on the cheap, Page Six of New York Post reported. If accurate, the details of Spitzer's contract go a long way towards explaining the network's thinking:

"Eliot Spitzer was so desperate to be on TV, he accepted a contract from CNN for less than $1 million to host a prime-time, 8 p.m. show. A source says he's making closer to $500,000 than $1 million, as is his co-host, Kathleen Parker. Larry King, on the other hand, signed a contract for $3 million -- down from $7 million -- just to present specials for the network with the possibility of hosting a weekend show similar to "Larry King Live." Insiders say CNN isn't spending a lot on talent for the 8 p.m. show because its chances for success are slim."

  • Fierce Competition  The show takes over the 8 p.m. slot currently occupied by Campbell Brown, opposite heavyweights Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann. Chris Rovzar of New York magazine's Daily Intel blog said last month the scheduling puts television newbie Spitzer in "a truly tough spot," likening the venture to "starting a sprint with dumbbells in each hand."

  • Already In Trouble?  The network hasn't exactly surrounded Spitzer with a dream staff, reports TVNewser's Chris Ariens:

"There is still no [executive producer] for the show, but insiders tell TVNewser MSNBC's Bill Wolf was wooed by CNN for the job. But we've learned Wolff is this close to signing a new deal to stay at MSNBC where he'll continue to oversee 'The Rachel Maddow Show' and remain VP of primetime programs for the network."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.