The differentiating factor between Disney’s Tamron Hall and everyone else hitting syndication this season is that Tamron airs live three days a week on the East Coast and live-to-tape everywhere else, just like Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which Tamron follows in many major markets.
To help make airing live a reality, Hall and Bill Geddie, who both executive produce, brought in Talia Parkinson-Jones as co-executive producer. Parkinson-Jones hails from Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which also airs live on the East Coast and live-to-tape across the country -- hence, why Williams’ fainting fit on Halloween in 2017 ended up on the air.
Events like that make airing live seem scary, but Parkinson-Jones thrives on it. “It’s not scary at all,” she said. “It’s challenging and exciting. It allows us to be topical and talk about what’s happening that day. It’s an adrenaline rush.
“It’s also about authenticity. Wendy and Tamron both have that quality of authenticity and I have learned how to produce around that,” she said.
In an attempt to drive viewer tune-in, airing live has been an increasing trend in daytime TV for the past several years. Live with Kelly and Ryan has obviously always been live and Oprah aired live in Chicago and other markets. Tegna airs Daily Blast Live across the country in multiple time periods, and this year, Access Hollywood will go live three times a day in some markets.
Parkinson-Jones also says airing live is “being true to who Tamron is. We are producing the show around her and she’s so dynamic, there’s so many interesting things about her. She’s a new mom, so we’ll be tackling that subject matter, and she’s a newlywed, so we’ll be doing parenthood, marriage, relationships and everything that surrounds those topics.”
Hall also has a long background in true crime, and is entering her seventh season hosting Investigation Discovery’s Deadline: Crime. Tamron Hall plans to focus on true crime every Wednesday and has a team of producers dedicated to the topic.
Celebrity is not a main emphasis of the show but celebrities will come by two to three times a week, Parkinson-Jones said. On Monday, singer Fantasia, who sings the show’s theme song, visited the program. The show also plans to tell a lot of stories about so-called "real people.”
“We’re not going to do traditional … segments,” said Parkinson-Jones. “If we book a fashion designer, for example, we’re going to learn their story. We are booking people who have a story to tell. There has to be a story behind everything we do on this show.”
Like the old-school talk shows she admires -- Phil Donahue and Michael Douglas -- Hall also is spending a lot of time in and with the audience in each episode, sometimes bringing people in via video feed. Monday’s premiere episode closed out with Hall taking selfies with the guests as they filed out after the taping.
“Let’s keep the conversation going,” Hall encouraged as her first day as star of her own show concluded.