All right, I'll admit it's kind of odd hosting a behind the scenes show (
inFANity) of a behind the scenes show (
Access Hollywood), then writing a behind the scenes take (this blog) all about what goes on behind the scenes. Just think of this as the most inside, exclusive, behind the scenes, first look (and any other histrionic broadcasting phrase that comes to mind) you've ever seen. You're about to experience history, people!
Having worked in several newsrooms around the country -- KGNS in Laredo, Texas, KGBT in the Rio Grande Valley, WAVY Norfolk, KTTV Los Angeles, and KCBS same city -- I know how a good manager can affect what you do and ultimately what people see on the air. Having said that, the reason the gorgeous, perfectly coiffed hosts (hair is real important there as it should be) on Access Hollywood seem to come through the television screen when they speak to you is because of the boss. The Queso Grande. The man who shouts "Action!" more than Spielberg, Michael Bay and Ron Jeremy combined.
Rob Silverstein is mayhem without the uproar. Stay with me. The E.P. of Access Hollywood is a frenetic, measured, irreverent guide who appears to do what every boss is supposed to. Hire people to do a job and then let them do it. Sure, he gets in their faces but I have the feeling if Tony Potts, Billy Bush or Nancy O'Dell got in his, he would at the very least listen. Oh, I should preface this by saying I have only met the man once and anyone can put on a front. (Witness my second grade BFF who said no one really noticed when I peed my pants in the back of the room.) Anyhow, the guy is a spitfire who's been around the block and still has the appetite for the job.
That fervor might play annoyingly throughout the newsroom, who knows? But the show, now more than 10 seasons old, still gets it done. When we were there the crew treated us with so much kindness, you might have thought we were a new found moneyed relative come to visit, instead of a four person TV pit crew that would trail them through their day of deadlines and oppressive heat. The front line "names" were gracious, playful, and god bless them, know how to give a good sound byte. Bonus! (Makes my job easier which is my daily intention.)
And here's a little "inside scoop" on some of the faces of Access Hollywood. Nancy O'Dell is just as sweet as she appears and just as tall. You'll see on inFANity how she opens up her house (it was blazing hot) to us (during her maternity leave) to introduce us to her new baby girl and how she got back into shape (damn her) in time for the Emmys. Billy Bush is the talkative guy in class just on the verge of being exasperating if he weren't charming and very bright. (This guy doesn't phone it in.) He's part salesman, part precocious cousin. Shaun Robinson is stunning and what you don't hear about is her charitable work. (Of course not, that would be boring, unless you're Angelina Jolie) Shaun's work with foster kids melts my adopted heart. And Tony Potts, well he's the go to guy. Affable, expeditious, fun and entertaining. Just not very good at pop quizzes. (Watch inFANity for details.)