UPDATED: THURSDAY 5 p.m.:
It’s been six weeks since Jim Rome’s new half-hour afternoon sports show launched on the CBS Sports Network, and aside from getting used to a new-ish format, there’s one other slight thing that’s a little harder to adjust to: Where does it originate?
CBS and Rome made it fairly common knowledge that “Rome” is taped at a studio in an undisclosed Orange County location — the exact spot is incidental, but it’s not far from the radio studio where Rome does his syndicated radio show from 9 a.m. to noon each day, and close to his O.C. home.
So is it a bit disingenuous when viewers tuning into “Rome” see Staples Center in the background? It’s a one of those vistas where you’d have to be … standing on the Harbor Freeway, or the roof of the L.A. Convention Center. Maybe a corner window at the Ritz Carlton Hotel across the street? Or, ironically, it’s something that could be seen from the studio offices of ESPN, the company who Rome used to work for (but resisted doing his “Jim Rome Is Burning” show from those 12,300-square-foot L.A. studios built in 2009, preferring to again stay in the O.C.).
Granted, Jay Leno’s NBC “Tonight Show” out of Burbank has an L.A. skyline as a backdrop. Most viewers surely realize it’s there for set decoration, not even an accurate outline of Hollywood and L.A. landmarks. CBS’ Letterman does the same with a New York cityscape for “Late Show.”
But Leno and Letterman are also doing a variety and entertainment show. It’s not one where viewers come for some entertainment but also to be informed, take in news and listen to guests offering educated opinions.
More than a few emailers have wondered how CBS could take such journalistic liberties to make it appear that Rome is L.A. adjacent.
“The show backdrop showcases the great sports city of Los Angeles and is not meant to be a literal indication of where the show originates,” said Mike Antinoro, the executive VP of programming for Dick Clark Productions, which handles production of the show.
Antinoro also said he doesn’t think it comprises the integrity of the show. Rome, via email, said he had nothing to add to Antinoro’s quote.
Where things get a little squishy is a case recently when Rome did a live, split-screen interview with Lakers coach Mike Brown. On one side of the screen, Brown was shown at his home, with the graphic underneath indicating he was in “Anaheim, Calif.” On the other side was Rome, above the graphic that read “Los Angeles.”
Truth is, Rome was much closer to Anaheim than he was L.A.
Listen, if Arte Morenois open to criticism for calling his team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when all he’s only after is the L.A. affiliation, this seems fair game as well.
Aside from all that, do we even address the fact that the view of Staples Center and the surrounding downtown L.A. buildings make it appear to be nighttime, while the show is taped at 3 p.m. local time?
Maybe we’ll revisit this all again next time we’re watching the show while working out at our local 24 Hour Fitness that isn’t really open 24 hours.
Got any thoughts about whether this bothers you or not as a viewer? Please leave comments on this one….
UPDATE: On today’s show, Rome came on at the top and said he was “coming to you from Southern California,” not Los Angeles as he normally says, and in a split screen interview with Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was graphically described to be in Tempe, Ariz.., the graphic under Rome’s live shot said simply “ROME Studios.”