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The Nate Berkus Show: Host Reflects on Cancelled Show

Nate Berkus Show canceled reflectionsIn a recent interview with the StarTribune’s CJ, Nate Berkus reflected on what went wrong with The Nate Berkus Show. The series was cancelled after two seasons on the air and the last episode aired on May 24th.

I think that for me it probably wasn’t the best decision to do a daytime, hourly talk show every single day. Design is something I think is elective. It’s something a lot of people feel is a luxury. It’s not must-see TV. For me, design is really important, but in order to do a show every day you have to talk about a lot of other things. You have to talk about cooking, fashion, style.

The truth is I’m very grateful that I had two full seasons — the show is on until September. It takes a long time for a show to gain traction and to find its viewership. I had a very loyal audience on Facebook, on Twitter, posting and tweeting about how they loved this recipe or the talented people my producers and I found and made a part of the show. The audience was very loyal from the beginning but the audience didn’t grow by leaps and bounds. That’s the goal with a daily syndicated show. The ratings for my show were decent. We had a lot of viewers, a lot of people who had seen my work on “Oprah” and I think they expected the same from a daily show.

Truthfully, I was on “Oprah” about every six weeks for 10 years. The production that went into every single time I was there took weeks and weeks and weeks to do. You can’t replicate that magnitude when you are doing something every day. Would I do it again? Probably not. I learned a lot from that experience. I think the most important thing that I took away were the relationships that I have now; the producers [with whom] I worked. It’s almost like being in summer camp together. You’re in sort of the trenches every single day and as soon as you finish a show you’ve got another one coming right up the pipeline. It’s like a column. It was definitely a wonderful experience for me, but I learned it’s probably not what I was meant to do and that’s OK.

What do you think? Do you agree with Berkus’ assessment? What do you think worked? What didn’t? Are you missing the program?

 

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheryl Snyder October 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

I miss you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much and am hoping that you will find your niche SOON and return to TV. Your decorating helped so many NORMAL, ORDINARY people–not a celebrity-based show. Hate reality TV! Did not need all the cooking segments though. Wish you had worked on more aspects of decorating and maybe coming to antique areas of the country (our town is dubbed the “Antique Capital of the World”) and shop with us. Another area that is needed so much is those of us who live in retirement communities and downsizing/making do with a little space, but still lead very active lives. Love you!!

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Bonnie October 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Nate…:( At first, I thought you had just gone on vacation for the summer (I must of missed the word about the show being cancelled!) Then, when I couldn’t find your show-and realized there were no more new ones-well, I’m just very SAD!! Every morning I watched your show with rapt enthusiasm. I really enjoyed the House Proud segments, learned much about “thrifting” (which I’m really into now!), and appreciated all of the ways you demonstrated what we could do to truly love the home we’re in. Thank you for all you did–it was not a wrong decision or choice and the time was not wasted. I listened, laughed, and learned a lot.

This past year our home had to be gutted because of mold:( It has been a trying time to say the least. We have rebuilt the inside-removed some walls and love the openness of our home much more. The only thing is, I just can’t figure out how to decorate it now. Several times as I discussed this matter with friends and they heard my discouragement, they would say-“You need to call Nate Burkus. He’ll help you.” Well, now what am I to do? I really need your expertise on this decorating situation. I don’t know where to put things now because there are not many wall spaces. HELP!!! I know you don’t have a show anymore, but it would have been so wonderful to have you surprise me at the door–and say you were there to redo my living, dining, and family room areas. I don’t know what to do–and the money has all been used on rebuilding our home. Just saying. . .:)

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Farzana Mohsin October 8, 2012 at 4:59 am

Hi Nate, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED watching you on Oprah, & when I heard you will be having your own show, it was TRUE JOY every morning at 10 a:m in my home here in Toronto Can. You are brilliantly creative & so warm & sincere, you helped solve so many decor concerns for millions, but what I loved the most was, that wether a millionaire or someone barely being able to make ends meet in these unfortunately difficult times was watching, you made everyone feel THEY ALL DESERVED & CAN HAVE A PLACE THEY LOVE TO COME TO. You have made Thrift stores, Salvation Army & Roadside abandoned items JUST AS RESPECTED as any designer product out there, there was something so humane & kind about it. This is something NO OTHER SHOW had EVER done. It is because of you that so so so many houses became homes even with the smallest of resources. Kids who were embarrassed to bring friends home from school were able to do so with pride& dignity. THIS IS WHAT YOUR SHOW DID, & THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE MOST PROUD OF. You didn’t just RESTORE people’s HOMES, YOU RESTORED THEIR DIGNITY. May God Bless You For That. Is there a network that wants to join you & continue to do so even if the ratings are not the highest???? Farzana

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LYNDA October 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I am totally blown away over this loss! I feel like I am in a state of grieving! Even my husband loved Nate’s show and watched it with me ( at our office ) EVERY morning! We couldn’t wait, as we didn’t even turn on TV until it was time for NATE’S show!!!!

What a shock to turn on his replacement show. Although I have absolutely nothing against this new person, he cannot compare to Nate’s endearing qualities and the level of entertainment / enlightenment Nate brought to us. Note to Nate: Your decision to do a daily show WAS right! It brought so much to so many of us and you will remain in our hearts forever. However ….. After much searching, I found you on Oprah at 6:00 a.m. in my area – and now my alarm clock is set for 5:30 a.m. I still get to see you on Oprah!!! Love you, Nate!

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Isela R. Palos October 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

Nate,
Your show brought so much inspiration to all of us that have love and pride for our home. I so looked forward to spending an hour enjoying and learning all the wonderful ideas and hints in decorating, cooking, restoring old furniture and recycling. Please do consider coming back I miss your talents but most of all your charisma.

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Mary ANN October 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I hope Nate doesn’t feel his show being cancelled is his fault!! I taped it every day, and enjoyed every aspect of it. I loved the fact that he recognized the financial difficulties most people live with, and that it is ok to shop thrift stores etc. I loved the humor, and caring he showed in all his shows. I am so sick of reality and talk shows!!! I will never understand the stations decision to get rid of this show. I can only pray someone recognizes his true talent and picks Nate up to do new shows. I will definatly watch. I no longer watch this morning channel as it now has unappealing programs. I am very saddened that I no longer have the joy of watching Nate’s show. Miss you Nate!!!!!

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jackie laglois October 3, 2012 at 7:57 am

I am so disaapointed that your show was cancelled. I loved all of
design tips and how to make something out of recyclables. it takes talent to
do that. wish you goodluck in all you do and
hope to see you back on the big screen

jackie langlois

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Barbara Stenstream October 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

To say, do I miss the Nate Berkus Show, is an understatement!!! After his show ended on ABC I was so relieved to see re-runs could be seen on The OWN Network. Then today found Dr. Phil in its place!!! I could have screamed!!! Doing a daily show must be incredibly difficult, but I hope you do not give up on trying it again. The segments I loved most were , House Proud, Your interviews with Elisabeth Edwards and with Oprah. Showing some of your famous guests homes. Re-do’s of Yard sale finds . Anything to do with decorating, especially small spaces, as I live in a small 2 bedoom apartment with only 8′ ceilings . Some of the food segments were quite funny.
Oprah did not go wrong with helping you get started. You are a bright ray of sunshine and I for one cannot wait to have you back on the air. Please hurry!! Actually Evie 9/10/12 said it the best!!!

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Carol Crawford September 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

So very sad that this show has been cancelled! He alway had great & inexpensive decorating idea or ways to use a small studio apartment seem larger, even a large bedroom to look comforting. Please bring him back, here in FL we got the show at 10 AM, which was perfect for me. Also loved Googwill hunting, great, great ideas. I better zip it up or I’ll be typing for hours praising him & the show.

Carol

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Renee D September 25, 2012 at 8:17 am

I am so disappointed that the Nate show has been discontinued! I watched his show every day. It’s part of my morning routine and I can’t believe I can’t tune into Nate every morning! His personality is perfect for the TV audience. He’s so sincere, a true listener and communicator, upbeat, energetic and a smile so warm and contagious. He was truly invested in his guests and audience. Loved seeing what new designs and remakes for furniture and accessories. I will say I began to be disappointed with all the cooking and fill-in material. I would rather see design, design, design ideas. Through that I was a loyal watcher and just hoped the show routine would get back to it’s original intent more design ideas. I miss you Nate and your show. Loved seeing your smiling personality everyday!!

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jeanne September 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

Nate, I LOVED your show, and I was shocked to learn it was cancelled. You were terrific and I always found the shows interesting and informative. You seemed so at ease with the guests and the audience. Your design style is beautiful, timeless, and elegant. Please, please hook up with Oprah and her new network. I miss you, and I know I speak for others as well.

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Joan September 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

I have been homebound due to a disability. I used to watch Nate almost every day, but I just found out the show was canceled. I disagree with Nate’s comment that he wasn’t cut out to do this type of show. He did really well covering non-design parts of his show. For me, there were too many cooking segments. Other than that, I thought he interviewed/interacted with guests quite well. The writers/producers of the show could easily have expanded the guest list, and perhaps they could have brought a design problem or solution they have experienced. That is just one idea; I think the show could have had unlimited approaches to design. I think the only deficiency of the show was the producing, not the delivery by Nate. Bad choice to cancel the show – bad.

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Lupe September 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Nate…I am missing you tons…my grandson, Chad, said that I retire so I could stay home and watch Nate…he also liked watching you and he’s only 9. He talked about sending you a video so you could come do his mom’s house…it’s an old, old farm house…needs lots of help….I will have to subscribe to Oprah’s channel so that I can continue to watch my most favorite show…The Nate Berkus Show.

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Carolyn Corliss September 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I am really missing my daily dose of Nate and his great ideas. And I am not alone. Many of my friends are feeling the same way; something is missing from our mornings. Nate, please come back!!!

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MaryAnn September 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Nate, you are an exceptionally talented young man. I disagree with your statement of your show and why you feel it failed. Lately, the networks think only reality, and the like, work. Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of reality TV. We never watch and will never watch. We have turned almost entirely to networks other than the “Big 3″.
I only found your show the last year of mostly reruns on our local station, because I worked during the day. Your show had variety (design style, fashion, food, conversation and a limited craft segment). I personally found your show refreshing and I looked forwarded to viewing daily and recording if I was not home. I will miss the show, and hope you reconsider doing it again on one of the networks that appreciate QUALITY shows. Perhaps Oprah’s network (which I understand is not doing well) will wake up and work with you on a “regular” basis, if not daily, then weekly. Unfortunately, the home decorating and craft shows have gone by the wayside (i.e. Nate Berkus, Christopher Lowell, Carol Duval and many others) leaving a real void in decorating and craft shows. I personally have been an avid crafter for many years and looked forward to these shows. I’m sure your fans and the fans of other cancelled shows, will miss you and the work you do.

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