By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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You can't write the name Eliot Spitzer without including the words "disgraced former New York governor."

But starting this fall, he'll also be called a CNN prime-time host.

Spitzer, driven from office by a prostitution scandal will co-host a 7 p.m. hour show with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, replacing Campbell Brown's little-watched show.

It's a tough hour, up against cable news' biggest name, Bill O'Reilly, and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.

While cable news numbers have been off lately, CNN has taken the biggest hit. Spitzer, who's been doing a bit of TV lately -- including a tryout for a role at MSNBC -- doesn't seem like the kind of lightning rod to boost viewership. In fact, he's a pretty dry personality.

Parker is not a conventional conservative, drawing ire from partisans for some of her views. She's been critical, for example of Sarah Palin, and called for her to quit the Republican ticket in 2008 after a series of interviews showed "she was out of her league."

But Parker's not likely to be the focus here. Spitzer was a powerful man driven from office in an embarrassing sex scandal that clearly involved illegal activity.

And now he has a TV show.

Spitzer's not the only example of bad behavior being rewarded. If you just look to Chicago, disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was awarded with not only a slot on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," but a radio show on WLS-AM (890). 

He's not doing the radio show while his federal trial goes on, but expect him back before the microphone should he be acquitted.

And Blago's not alone on Chicago radio.

WGN-AM (720) has given a platform to an ex-con named Jim Laski, a former Chicago pol who did time in the federal pen for taking bribes. He now vents every weeknight on local politics and other matters.

I guess this is supposed to be edgy programming -- although Spitzer is hardly an edgy personality.

I wouldn't bet on the success of this show, both of the competitors have their loyal audiences and other than the initial freak show aspect of putting the disgraced former New York governor (the DFNYG) on the air, this show isn't likely to offer much to draw in new viewers.

On TV: Channel 12 offers a live airing of the "Big Bang" fireworks show for the first night of Summerfest. The high-def airing (and it's really only worth watching in HD) runs from 10:35 to 11:05 p.m.

  • Also on Channel 12 tonight is ABC's new "Boston Med." This is a reality show without the quote marks, and, so far, the only summer show worth investing your time in. It airs at 9 p.m.
  •'s Hollywood Insider reports that CBS' "As the World Turns" taped its final episode Wednesday. It will air Sept. 17.
  • In another sign of just how disgusting "The Bachelor" franchise is, the recently broken up Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi are scheduled to be on the July 5 episode of "The Bachelorette" to talk about their breakup.
  • Nielsen numbers show the season finale for "Treme" didn't break a million viewers. The show premiered with 1.4 million. During its 10-week run, the character-rich, slow moving New Orleans drama dipped as far as 687,000 viewers.

Hail to the anchor: Fox News Channel morning anchor Gretchen Carlson is getting pilloried for somehow equating her job with the presidency, although I don't remember voting either for or against her.

I was hoping to find just a clip of her goofy comments, but the best I could come up with is this bit from MSNBC's Ed Schultz:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.