New York Just days from launch, the new anchors of CBS' "The Early Show" were trying to make nice.
Nearly two weeks after the new four-person anchor team on CBS' breakfast program met for the first time, they found themselves Thursday practicing the on-camera camaraderie that morning-show viewers have come to expect.
So far, it appears to have come easy to Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Rene Syler. Before taping promotional spots for their program, the three women lined up next to Smith on the show's main set broke into a version of the Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love." Smith deadpanned his own lyrics.
It made for plenty of yuks in the studio. But will it be enough to take viewers away from NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America"?
Senior executive producer Michael Bass doesn't expect a ground shift to happen overnight. But he is upbeat about what he has seen during the team's recent run-throughs.
In an effort to distinguish the show from the competition, Bass will match more than one anchor with interview subjects.
During Thursday's run-through, for example, Smith and Chen talked to a "romance coach," while Storm and Syler handled a segment with Dr. Emily Senay, the medical correspondent, about hysterectomies.
Not all of the team efforts have worked in rehearsal.
"The four of us doing a cooking segment with Bobby Flay was a disaster," Chen said.
"He actually had batter all over him," Smith noted.
While the foursome may be kept out of the kitchen, they will do a regular segment called "The Early Line," where they will banter on a hot topic.
The timely cross talk will likely have the new "Early Show" compared to Barbara Walters' ABC daytime show "The View."