The Graham Norton Show
Empty10 p.m., Saturday, June 2
Graham Norton, Britain's famously energetic and impish host, begins a new talk show. At least, the set is new. And the guests are new. Norton, however, is very much his old self -- witty, naughty and more than willing to try bits that are off-center and cheeky. Not all of it goes over well, but there's so much of it, and it's done so quickly, that it doesn't seem to matter.
Norton runs this talk show from SO Television Ltd. as if it was a three-ring circus. The typical talk show host brings out a guest, talks to the guest, then brings out the next one. Norton introduces both guests at the start (Kim Cattrall and Elijah Wood in the premiere), and the three converse and comment on the various comic segments.
The new show is supposed to be interactive. Norton refers to images on a large computer-style monitor on the set and plugs the features of the program's own Web site. But, at least based on the premiere, the interactivity, like the high-tech multilevel set, is mostly for show. What works best is Norton's time-tested riffs on celebrities and his repartee with ordinary people on the other end of the show's remote cameras.