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TV or not TV
Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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FILE - In a Tuesday, April 26, 2011 file photo, TV personality Carson Daly poses for a portrait in New York. NBC says beginning Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, Daly is joining the on-air team at the "Today" show. Daly will be host of the Orange Room, a digital studio that will be part of the show’s revamped Manhattan home, Studio 1A. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File)
Orange is the new blah on "The Today Show"

NBC's venerable "Today Show" unveiled a new set and tried to unveil a new attitude on Monday morning, but the orange-tinged hues looked more than a little desperate.

"Today" has fallen and it can't get back up ... to No. 1 in the ratings. The show has carved out a spot at No. 2 behind ABC's "Good Morning America" in recent months.

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"Today's" answer? Add Carson Daly to the mix and put him in something called the Orange Room, a new feature in the new "Today" set, unveiled on Monday mornng.

Matt Lauer was reporting about the floods from Colorado, but the rest of the "Today" team wandered awkwardly over to the Orange Room during Monday morning's telecast. Once there, they interacted awkwardly with "regular people" - with viewers, via social media.

Social media on TV has never worked all that well. It was stiff and, yes, desperate during the "Today" debut. Although the regulars kept telling us how great it is.

This, however, is the way of TV. Al Roker has a whiz-bang new weather screen, which worked well. But he insisted on insisting that this would make the weather "interactive," which is just plain dumb.

Weather is interactive when you step out your front door in the morning, not when Roker stands in front of a screen and we watch it on our TV screen..

As to the Orange Room discussion about whether the Washington Redskins should change their mind, that was pretty much a flop. Which should have surprised no one - it's certainly a legitimate issue, but getting people interested in it on a Monday morning was probably an impossible task.

That said, Daly was fine. He's good as a host. You wonder if he's being groomed to replace Lauer.

That's speculation on my part. Although it does increasingly seem like Lauer is a liability.

And there are already some folks pointing out that the "Today" logo in orange doesn't look like a rising sun - it looks like a setting sun.



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