In 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?