It may have not premiered to spectacular ratings, but Rock Center with Brian Williams shines in a crowded market that is obsessed with tabloid based stories. Rock Center is NBC’s attempt to give life to a new prime-time news magazine and to also fill a void left by the now-cancelled The Playboy Club. Expectations for success are low, but if NBC brass can allow the show to find a voice, they may win respect in a world where shows are cancelled as quickly as 1-2-3.
Rock Center itself mirrors William’s personality; serious, but witty. Stories were thoughtful and engaging. In all, it was a perfect mix of light and serious. The show’s catchy, but subtle music theme is a reflection of those attributes. Produced by Rome Hartman, the former BBC veteran who oversaw BBC America’s flagship newscast, gave us hope that he would turn this production into a beacon of high-quality journalism. He often described “World News America” as “sophisticated.” It appears of that some of that sophistication has rubbed on to Rock Center under his direction.