I’m currently reading “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV” and I’m enjoying it very much. The author, Brian Stelter, isn’t as journalist-y as I would prefer (like Tom Shales and his amazing coverage of the so-called Late Night Wars) and tends to go for a pun or a joke and then point out his joke, but the insider information is fun.
Anyway… I came across this section about the creation of the current Good Morning, America cast:
In an interview later, Sherwood said that he wasn’t worried about Elliott’s hiring working out because of something his future news anchor had said during their first dinner together. Elliott had told him that he used to study improv. And the lesson Elliott came away with, he said, was “Never let it drop.”
“The skill required to keep an improv going is considerable,” said Sherwood, whose brother-in-law Steve teaches companies how to apply improvisational techniques to the workplace. “And Josh’s love of keeping it going, not letting it drip, stood out to me. The hosts of the Today show, in its heyday, were excellent at the television version of Hacky Sack. They could kick the Hacky Sack around and it never dropped. And they could do incredible tricks. And just when you though it was gonna drop, bang, Katie would pop it up in the air, or Matt would catch it on his shoulders or Al would bump it over to Ann and Ann would somehow get it back in the air. At Good Morning, America, we did not have that. We had a lot of things, but we did not have that improv.”
I thought that was cool.
Also, NBC was mean to Ann Curry. Holy cow, were they!!