Deborah Norville swears she’ll never host a show from a whorehouse.
Deborah Norville yearns to get back to “real news.”
Deborah Norville says she’s trying to make chicken salad out of the (fill in the blank) she’s been handed.
Deborah Norville gave Jeremy Piven a boner.
You remember Deborah Norville. She was the female host of the Today show for fifteen minutes, the young cutie who moved in when Jane Pauley was pushed out for being too old.
Back in 1990, on the day she and Pauley actually hugged and kissed on live TV as the coup went down, A Current Affair's Wayne Darwen produced a segment that went down in tabloid television history for its outrageous hilarity and commentary.
Basically all he did was run the Norville-Pauley video and intercut vintage footage of a silent movie comedian puking.
Sixteen years later, Deb’s replacement, perky spunkball Katie Couric is actually taking over Dan Rather’s job and Deborah Norville is in her eleventh year hosting Inside Edition.
You remember Inside Edition. That’s the tabloid TV show that was created with a rib of A Current Affair back in 1989 (read the true story here). It’s the last tabloid TV show still standing (if you don’t count Entertainment Tonight— what’s up with the Buttafuoco-Fisher showdown—that’s entertainment?), having slid under the radar for more than a decade since Bill O’Reilly left the show and reinvented himself.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer runs an interview with Norville today. She’s just as out of it was she was back in the 80s when she was a morning newsreader, known for the best lips in the industry (and check out her weird website). Bottom line, Deborah Norville and her producers still don’t have a grip on what tabloid television is all about. After all this time, she doesn’t think she’s doing “real news.” She’s befouling her nest, a show that pulled her out of the cable TV wildnerness because she was a still-hot blonde.
Norville on Tabloid Television:
"When Katie Holmes had the baby, I jokingly said to my producer, "Would it be inappropriate for my lead to be, 'Our long national nightmare is over'? He said, 'No, save that for Brangelina.'
"But that's the way I feel about it, I guess we have to tell the people, but do we have to dwell on it? The answer apparently is yes, we do."
Q: I heard Jeremy Piven has a huge crush on you. He used to watch you on the news when he was a kid, growing up in Chicago.
D.N.: "I have no idea why he even had this fixation on me! ... But it was a little 12-year-old boy thing. Which really makes me feel old."
But look at it this way: You got a 12-year-old boy to watch the evening news! What television newsroom can say they're doing that these days?
“That's true! Everybody's worried. It would be great if we could get 14-year-old boys to watch. But I don't know how to do it.”
Given your experience, would you ever go back to network news, or are you happy doing a syndicated news magazine?
“With those bosses deciding who they're going to put on shows, there are two factors based on recognizability and likability. Well, they all knew who I was, and they hated me deeply. (Laughs.) Put Deborah Norville on a show? Hell no! It wasn't gonna happen! And I knew that. ... And I never thought I'd work in the business again.”
So what did you do?
“I went into a major depression. I totally spiraled down. …At 31, I was washed up. If I turned on the television, I either wept because I was looking at video images of these poor women in Iraq whose lives had been devastated by the war, or I would weep because there was somebody else doing an interview about these poor women in Iraq whose lives had been devastated by the war, and it ought to have been me.
“So, would I want to go back? I thought I had a little bit, when I did the MSNBC show. But it was really two things. One, you cannot do two full time jobs at the same time. It was impossible, and it was killing me. ... And increasingly, they wanted the show live. They wanted it live because Laci Peterson's mother might cry at the trial. You know, the show they have on now has a lot in common. And I'm sure Rita Cosby is a very hardworking woman, but you will never see Deborah Norville anchoring a show from a whorehouse. I don't think that's the definition of news in this country.
“... So would I go back? You bet. If it's really news. Not everything in the world is pretty. Some of what's out there that's happening is very ugly, and we have a responsibility to tell the people."
Have you thought about what the next step would be?
"No, because I'm under contract."
I get it. ... (If) you're thinking, you're not thinking out loud.
"I don't overthink too much, because my career was such an accident... I've been so busy keeping up with the great opportunities that have happened, or with the disasters that have happened, and trying to make chicken salad out of what I've been given, that I don't overthink it a lot."
That sound you hear is Wayne’s 1920s comedian puking.