Almost nine years removed from his last NFL game, Michael Strahan still looks like he could terrorize a quarterback pretty good. Standing next to the giant former Giant, you can’t help but wonder how the heck anybody ever blocked him. So this time of year, when a touch of chill slips into the northeast air, surely the GMA anchor misses playing?
“Absolutely not!” he shoots back defiantly. “After the show, George [Stephanopoulos, chief anchor] and I go for coffee, and I’m not even sore. I’m good.”
Watching Strahan on the set, he is good. There’s plenty of room to improve, but he has a natural rapport with his new team. Robin Roberts cites Strahan’s competitive streak and says she’s “extremely grateful” to see the show is tops in total viewers. “We never take it for granted,” she says. “My Momma said, ‘When you strut, you stumble.’ We are very humble.”’
Strahan’s megawatt smile lights up with that. “I love it when you pull out your Momma-isms!” he says.
Elsewhere on ABC, Betsy Beers plays Momma to a bunch of Thursday shows, including How to Get Away With Murder, which debuts Sept. 22. She mentions the “continuing saga” of shifty law prof Annalise Keating’s “kids.” “To me, they’re kids,” Beers says of the program’s law students. “They’re young adults whose lives are inextricably tied to the charismatic but slightly destructive world of Annalise.”
Beers credits creator Peter Nowalk for keeping Murder twisting and turning. “He always figures out a slightly different turn on the formula that keeps it fresh,” she says. “This season promises lots of surprises.”
And there’s plenty of murder, and surprises, in the new season of Dateline. How does correspondent Josh Mankiewicz unwind after the grueling spadework required at NBC’s true-crime staple? By watching a gritty drama about a detective figuring out grisly murders. “I’m loving Bosch,” he says of the Amazon series.
Mankiewicz concedes it can be tough leaving his work at work. “There’s no denying it’s somewhat wrenching to cover these stories,” he says. “But I’m also seeing people with just unbelievable strength.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.