Monday, August 22, 2016

PHOTOS: Houston Life debuts on #KPRC2 with a zombie

Houston Life debuts on KPRC 2 with a quick paced format

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Just like a bunch of other Houstonians' first day today, the hosts and crew of Houston Life are starting out fresh, not in a classroom, but a brand new locally produced KPRC 2 lifestyle show.

Hosts Jennifer Broome (former WOAI San Antonio meteorologist, FOX 31 KDVR Denver's Good Day Colorado) and Derrick Shore (formerly of KCET Los Angeles) started the show by jumping out of a plane in a recorded segment (now doing that live would have been a technical masterpiece). I would imagine the skydiving stunt is a great metaphor for the first day launch of a new talk show.

After a catchy theme song (complete with lyrics), through the magic of TV, the next us viewers saw were the hosts live from their new studio digs at the swanky Houston Galleria expansion next to Nordstrom. The duo even got some cheers as they ran through the set door from the shopping mall crowd.

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If you've ever worked in television, then you know soap opera fans are passionate. The ones who are still watching, even more so, as their viewing options are dwindling. Shore calmed tensions by quickly mentioning that Days of Our Lives was moving from 1pm to right after Houston Life at 2pm.

Like Sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our zombies? Yes, after a quick clip of the hosts skydiving again, a zombie was featured chained on set. I am not joking. Did not expect this. Turns out it was a quick segment about the Houston Escape Room game with what I'm guessing was a fake professor. I wonder if the show will ever let me come on the air dressed as a werewolf?

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Houston Life doesn't seem to stay on anyone subject too long. Next, it was a whirlwind tour of places around the Bayou City. We saw a quick clip of the hosts at iFLY. Then a quick edited package segment of the hosts at Topgolf.

After the first commercial break, Chef Ronnie Killen was live in the studio doing one of the things he does best...barbecue and the sauces to go with it. From personal experience, if you want to eat at Killen's Barbecue in Pearland, get there early. The menu items go fast and once all the food is gone, the place shuts down for the day. This was the longest segment of the show so far.

After the second commercial break, the hosts appeared in a recorded segment participating in a beer bicycle tour to the Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Once at the beer HQ, they got a behind the scenes tour of the operation. And just to show that Shore has no fear, he went to the main beer hall full of customers and danced around interviewing people while wearing a lederhosen. I believe this was a Houston TV first for me.

Obviously the show is live, so after break three, the hosts checked back with KPRC 2 meteorologist Justin Stapleton for a quick weather update. Next up, an edited package segment of Shore and Broome getting batty at the Waugh Drive Bat Colony. A favorite of Houston TV feature segments. This was followed by an in studio interview with bat expert Suzanne Jurek.

Not related to the show, but during the next TV ads, I learned The Texas Hammer, attorney Jim Adler, is being joined by his son Bill, who is also a Texas Hammer. I never thought we would have two hammers.

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Reporter Stephanie Gerry was up next in an edited package report from Houston Texans tailgating. The package went to black all of a sudden, then Gerry was in the studio with the hosts for more tailgating talk with Houston Pitmaker. Afterwards Houston Texans cheerleaders showed up talking about their new calendar! The cheerleaders displayed a proclamation from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declaring today Houston Life Day.

After the break, was an in studio interview with the principal and students from the British International School of Houston with a few performances. This seemed to be one of the longer segments of the show.

The show ended with cake, confetti and champagne. The zombie stayed around for this too. Maybe he should have come back to help kill a little time (insert rim shot).

Broome and Shore appear to have good chemistry and are clearly comfortable doing this type of format.

Houston Life Executive Producer Don Graham who helped start and was in charge of KHOU 11's Great Day Houston for many years, clearly has lots of experience in the talk show arena. In fact, he even did time as the Executive in Charge of Production for the The Gayle King Show back in the 90s.

One thing Graham and the staff seem to want is to keep the attention of the Facebook generation. For the most part, the show moves at such a quick pace that viewers never really get too much of one thing. One could argue there might not be a lot of in depth information, but on the flip side, if anything gets too boring, viewers won't have time to flip the channel (or start browsing social media on the so-called second screen).

Outside of the one blank screen and time to kill at the end, the show seemed pretty error free. That's quite a feat since the show takes place live from a location other than an actual TV studio. The only other problem was with the channel 2 website. Online users were promised a livestream of the show but it wasn't there. Where the video player was supped to be was a graphic. I saw a complaint on the show's Facebook page too.

What are your thoughts on the new show?

UPDATE
Mike McGuff shares his thoughts on KPRC 2's Houston Life with Health Fitness Revolution

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