Harry Connick Jr. Wows A Tough Crowd At The Station Summit

Ted Harbert and Harry Connick, Jr.

Ted Harbert and Harry Connick Jr.

At this morning’s presentation at the 2016 PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas,  Connick and moderator, Ted Harbert, jokingly referred to his new daytime show repeatedly as Barry.

And judging from the love he got from the audience of 1,000 TV station creative directors, he could call it anything and it’ll probably still be a hit.

IMG_0037In a free-flowing back and forth between Harbert, president of NBC Broadcasting, and Connick, the two talked about Connick’s family, Connick’s hometown of New Orleans and, of course, what viewers can expect to see in Connick’s new syndicated daytime show, Harry, debuting in September across the country.

I spent quite a few years early in my career working at TV stations in New Orleans and Harry Connick was a name often in the news. But it wasn’t Harry Connick Jr, but his dad, Harry Connick Sr., the city’s district attorney for 30 years, who grabbed the headlines.

In those days, Harry Connick Jr. was just the DA’s son who, rumor had it, played a mean piano.

Connick Jr. talked about his 90-year-old dad, as well as his own family, lovingly, and it reminded me of what real residents of New Orleans of the city stand for, family and faith.

No matter what Connick’s show does, no one represents what the city of New Orleans is really about better than Harry Connick Jr.

There was no pre-interview before the presentation, Connick emphasized, as he thinks that kind of formality ruins spontaneity, and he promised that would be the way he’d run things on his new show. Unscripted, full of surprises; wherever the show leads, he’ll go.

Connick and Harbert then opened the floor to questions from the audience, which really allowed Connick to be himself, which is what is most appealing about him.

Even if Connick wasn’t a terrific singer and performer, I think TV viewers would want to sit down for an hour with him and his guests every afternoon for the conversation.

Connick said his new show “feels like a nighttime show, a party in the afternoon.”

Local TV creative services directors have seen these kind of grand presentations before and are not easily impressed, but this tough crowd gave Connick and Harbert a well-deserved standing ovation.

Be it Barry or Harry, I predict this show will be a hit.