The Verdict

Amanpour's This Week Debut: Mixed Reviews

In her first official week hosting ABC's This Week, revered CNN vet Christiane Amanpour nabbed exclusive interviews with both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. How'd she do? Reviewers agreed on one thing: Amanpour led the broadcast with a passion that's atypical of Sunday morning talk shows. According to The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley, "Sunday programs are usually sedate and dispassionate, with even strong-minded panelists speaking slowly and in turn." Amanpour, meanwhile, "has panache and a no-nonsense briskness." The Washington Post’s Tom Shales, however, was not enthused, insisting that Amanpour is miscast for the role, "her highly touted global orientation coming across as inappropriate and contrived on a broadcast that for three decades has dealt primarily with domestic politics, policies, and culture." Shales also criticized Amanpour for shaking up the show's roundtable format and wrote that "the whole production came through as needlessly shrill and showy." But the Los Angeles Times’ Robert Lloyd sees the change in tone as refreshing: "She's a star, but naturally or tactically, not an insider," he said. "She lacks the familiarity that characterizes many of her colleagues.”