Picks and Pans Review: Weekend Today
With its Saturday-morning cartoon lineup firmly mired in last place, W'A. divided to extend its morning newsmagazine overall seven days. Good idea; lousy delivery.
Taking over weekend anchor duties are a woefully mismatched duo: chipper Jackie Nespral, 26, a former newsreader for the Spanish language network Univision, and urbane Scott Simon, 40, longtime host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition. The gingham dog and calico cat had better chemistry.
During the program's dreary debut, the two couldn't make transitions and kept stepping on each other's lines. It actually seemed to pain Simon to make eye contact with Nespral. Their banter was terrible. After he commented at length on Saddam Hussein's anti-U.S. posturing, she responded, "That's nice." Maybe the ghost of Gilda Radner's SNL character Emily Latella is still haunting the NBC studios.
The next week there was a noticeable effort to keep the two apart, as they alternated segments. That helped, as did a brisker pace and newsier focus. But the changes also made the show seem duller and less integrated.
It's good to have an adult alternative on Saturday mornings, but so far this one is ungainly. Bring back Yo, Yogi!