The Slatest

Sean Spicer Has a Talk Show in the Works Called Common Ground Despite Abandoning Just That During His Trump Days

Then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at the podium delivering the daily briefing at the White House on July 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Easy, Sean. AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer has a new talk show in the works, the New York Times reports, where the former administration mouthpiece will interview “notable people in an informal setting.” The show concept, which according to the show pitch obtained by the Times, involves Spicer chatting it up “some of the most interesting and thoughtful public figures for a drink and some lite conversation at a local pub or cafe.” Breezy, unbuttoned Spicey, how we always really wanted him, just getting to the bottom of things.

The project has not been picked up by a network. The obvious home would be some Rupert Murdoch owned property. If there’s no room in Fox-world for the distrustful and utter disaster of a spokesman who helped set the tone for the presidency, perhaps the Christian Broadcasting Network. Maybe Sinclair Broadcast Group? It’s hard to imagine there’s much public appetite for Spicer or for this brand of show peddling contrived moments of faux reconciliation. It’s similarly hard to picture any truly “interesting” and/or “thoughtful” public figure yucking it up with Spicer for a mainstream television audience. The only world where that might work is a world like Fox News, where Juan Williams is a liberal and guests’ interesting/thoughtful quotient is interpreted pretty loosely.

“[T]he pilot episode, to be filmed in July, is backed by heavy hitters in the realm of unscripted television,” the Times writes. “Debmar-Mercury, the syndicator of daytime series including ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ and ‘Family Feud,’ is co-producing with Pilgrim Media Group, which has developed basic-cable staples like ‘American Chopper.’” Stormy Daniel’s lawyer turned America’s TV lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he was offered the gig, but turned it down. Avenatti apparently doesn’t need to do daytime when he’s getting all that primetime Anderson Cooper love.

One particularly baffling thing about the let’s-put-Spicer on-tv idea, is that Sean Spicer had the on-screen charisma of a perspiring fullback before prom. He was ill at ease on camera to the point of discomfort for the viewer, and was genuinely bad at answering basic questions, nervously barking out staccato whoppers from behind the podium while trying to square the world he was making up as he went along with the one everyone else was residing in. This will undoubtedly be a dreadful show if it indeed does get made, which feels like a stretch in the current climate where Trump administration officials are having trouble eating out in public while not on television. This could be a unique and good show, however, if there was real contrition, real soul-searching, which would make for real conversations of substance, but Spicer would have to take the legs out of his new base of far right Trumpers that he ditched real-world common ground for.