After a long search for a new executive producer for “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” The Insider hears that ABC News is about to put the glass slipper on Kathy O’Hearn, the network and cable news veteran who has been executive in charge of “Topic A With Tina Brown” for nearly 1 1/2 of its valiant two-year crusade for smart talk and intelligent viewers on CNBC Sunday nights.
It will be Ms. O’Hearn’s mandate to “fix” ABC’s once-dominant newsmaker show, which has struggled in the ratings during Mr. Stephanopoulos’ 21/2 years as hard-working but mellow moderator.
Ms. O’Hearn was executive producer of “ABC World News Tonight” weekend editions when she left the network after 17 years in 2000 to join the CNN family, where, among other assignments, she launched “American Morning.”
Virginia Moseley, who was Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts’ last executive producer on “This Week,” has been interim executive producer for the past few months.
Word is that Ms. Moseley will consult on “This Week” while refocusing on her primary responsibilities as director of editorial projects: marketing and affiliate relations and booking for ABC’s Washington bureau.
“Topic A’s” Ms. Brown recently blogged about how she will remember her TV tutor: “Before I go on-air, forevermore I shall hear O’Hearn say, `Teeth! Teeth! Show me some teeth!”‘
Mr. Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton White House aide, has teeth and political chops. When Ms. O’Hearn says, `Show me your teeth,” The Insider suspects it won’t mean “smile.”
… AND A LOOK BACK
And now for a word about the fabulous, the faux pas and the frumps on the upfront week fashion front last week.
If reincarnation is real, The Insider wants to come back as Debra Messing. The “Will & Grace” star wore the most fabulous dress seen all week: a Missoni number that managed to incorporate all the trends of this moment-a bit of Grecian drape, a peasant ruffle, a warm, pale green and some flower power-while feeling like a simple and classic summer sundress.
Other fashion do’s included the red cocktail frock that made Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS’s “The Ghost Whisperer”) look like a dancer tiny enough for a music box; the bold brown print off-the-shoulder dress that swayed when Jennifer Finnegan (CBS’s “Close to Home”) moved; and the romantic black summer dress worn by Carla Gugino (CBS’s “Threshold”).
“7th Heaven’s” Catherine Hicks looked matronly, pairing a navy jacket and a navy skirt that both looked from a distance as if they could have been borrowed from Patricia Arquette’s “Medium”-next-door wardrobe.
Fashion interventions are needed-“Forthwith!” as Tia Texada would bark on the late “Third Watch”-for comedian Caroline Rhea (NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”), whose canyon of cleavage was counterproductive, and Melanie Griffith (The WB’s “Twins”), who rendered her co-stars downright Lilliputian as she teetered on platform wedges.