New 'Early Show' Hosts Premiere on CBS; Critics Weigh In


A new group of co-hosts made their debut on CBS' The Early Show on Monday morning, including Chris Wragge and Erica Hill of the show's Saturday team.

Ex-Good Morning America co-host Marysol Castro of the weekend edition, taking the reins as the weather anchor, and Jeff Glor of CBS News were also a part of the new lineup.

Entertainment Weekly said the new co-hosts "comported themselves rather well" and noted that the new team was "poised and professional this morning, eager to pretend that today was just another day of work." Fancast questioned whether Hill, Wragge and the rest of the crew had chemistry and if they were "special enough" to sustain the Early Show's ratings, mentioning the hosts' obvious excitement: "They had a tendency at the outset to talk at superspeed (especially Chris), though seemed to relax more as the show proceeded."

The anchors were "low-key" and "dug into the news as quickly as they could," according to The Wrap. Houston's CultureMap noted that while the anchors were new, "not much about the first show felt very fresh."

Hill began the three-hour morning show by voicing hope that viewers would continue to tune in to the new Early Show "because we're enjoying this new job we've got out here." It had only been several weeks since the old Early Show team, which included Harry Smith, whose last appearance was Friday, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price, were let go.

Veteran anchor Smith said late last year that he was "disappointed" he couldn't raise ratings for the morning TV show. "It's a tough racket. There's only so much audience to go around," he said.

The Early Show is consistently behind ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today.

David Friedman, executive producer of The Early Show, told THR after news broke that the news team was being reshuffled, "Obviously if things were quote-unquote 'working' we wouldn't make changes."

On the Monday show, segments included an interview with actress Lindsay Lohan's father Michael Lohan, the potential job outlook this year and recipes for weight loss.

In addition, there was a bit of self-promotion, centering on the new team's jaunt across the U.S., including an appearance on CBS' own The Late Late Show WIth Craig Ferguson.

Castro was also seen lasting mere seconds in 33-degree water off Coney Island in a feature focusing on the Polar Bear Club's yearly swim. "My little bunions are still frostbit," she said after the video aired.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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