The Early Show is CBS's answer to NBC's Today juggernaut and the amiable powerhouse that is Good Morning America. A morning news and talk program that differentiates itself by being a bit more low-key and sporting a panel of journalists that tag team news stories and features. It's less formal than Today and a bit more coffee talk than GMA. It ranks third in the ratings fairly consistently, but it has a solid fan base, and isn't going anywhere soon.
Fast Facts about The Early Show
Title: The Early Show
The Early Show Anchors:
- Chris Wragge
- Harry Smith (2002 - 2010)
- Maggie Rodriguez - (2008 - 2010)
- Julie Chen (1999 - 2010)
- Russ Mitchell (2006 - 2010)
- Hannah Storm (2002 - 2007)
- Renee Syler (2002 - 2006)
- Jane Clayson (1999 - 2002)
- Bryant Gumbel (1999 - 2002)
- Susan Koeppen
- Bob Vila
- Bobby Flay
- Martha Quinn
- Martha Stewart
- Marysol Castro (2011)
- Dave Price (2002 - 2010)
The Saturday Early Show Anchors:
- Chris Wragge (2007 - 2010)
- Erica Hill (2008 - 2010)
- Priya David (2008 - present)
- Lonnie Quinn (2006 - present)
Format: News/talks program. The Early Show remains different from its competitors, Good Morning America and The Today Show , by using a panel of hosts rather than two anchors, a news anchor and a weather forecaster.
Broadcast information: Broadcast live from CBS Studios in New York City, weekdays 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Saturdays , 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Premiere Date: Nov. 2, 1999.
Throughout its broadcast history, CBS has launched various morning programs, including The Morning Show in the 1950s, a Today show clone hosted by Walter Cronkite. The CBS Morning News, a standard hour-long news program, dominated the next three decades .
Also roaming about the airwaves in the 1980s was CBS's Morning with Bob Schieffer. This mirrored the successful Sunday Morning program, hosted by Charles Kuralt. It was well-respected, in-depth, and constantly in third place.
Next came a cadre of programs: The Morning Program with Mariette Hartley and Rolland Smith; CBS This Morning with Mark McEwen and Paula Zahn; and This Morning with Harold Dow, Erin Moriarty and Jane Robelot. That last program found some success as a local and national news hybrid, and even surpassed GMA in the ratings at one point.
Then the big news.
Former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel was coming to CBS to host a new program: The Early Show, playing off of David Letterman's titled Late Show (and reminiscent of NBC's Today and Tonight show pairing). He was joined by Jane Clayson and big things were expected.
But big things never materialized. The show never found an audience and ratings lagged.
Eventually, Gumbel left the program and Clayson was replaced. CBS went back to The Morning Show format and today the show commands a respectable third place in the ratings.
In December 2010, The Early Show revamped again, asking longtime news anchor Harry Smith, along with recent addition Maggie Rodriguez, to step down as anchors. They promoted Saturday edition anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill to the daily anchor positions.
That revamp lasted until 2012, when CBS shook things up again. In an attempt to take a harder news angle to capture viewers tired of more fluff and entertainment provided by the competition, The Early Show added newsman and talk show host Charlie Rose and talk show host and journalist Gayle King. In a twist, Rose and King don't anchor the show together. Instead, Rose takes the first hour and King takes the second.