Why Sean Spicer Joined 'Extra' as a TV Correspondent

Sean Spicer - Getty - H 2019
John Lamparski/Getty Images

"The idea is to give people a different angle on some of the people they see on the cable news channels every day," says the former Trump White House spokesperson.

Surprise, surprise: Sean Spicer is now officially a member of the mainstream media. The former White House press secretary has signed a contract to serve as a special correspondent for syndicated newsmagazine show Extra.

"When they pitched this to me, I said, 'Yeah, I love the idea,'" Spicer told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.

Spicer, who famously tangled with television reporters during his stint in the White House, is beginning with a special series that focuses on the personal lives and views of D.C. insiders, including some of his former Trump administration colleagues. 

His first interview was conducted with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife, Susan, and will air Wednesday night. On Thursday, Extra will air Spicer's interview with counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and her children. (Her husband, the lawyer George Conway, is a major critic of the administration). A day later, Spicer will interview his successor, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and her husband, Bryan.

"Obviously, we started in my wheelhouse of Republicans, but we hope to make this bipartisan and to offer people an opportunity and a platform to give people a better understanding of who they are as people," Spicer said, making clear that his interviews will not delve into the weeds.

"This is the personal, not the politics, not the policy," Spicer added. "The idea is to give people a different angle on some of the people they see on the cable news channels every day."

The special series will test the television concept Spicer has been hoping to make, in which he interviews public personalities in a "relaxed atmosphere."

Spicer said on Wednesday that there's nothing new to share on the television development front but that his Extra series will serve as a sort of "short-form version of that idea."

In one interview, Spicer asked Pompeo to play award show pundit and pick his favorite for best picture at Sunday's Academy Awards. "Gosh, I loved Bohemian Rhapsody," Pompeo said.

Asked if his subjects answered his questions, Spicer said, "This is supposed to be a pleasant experience."

Spicer's deal with Extra is open-ended, and when asked how long he will be working for the show, he said he's taking it one day at a time.