Lawyers Can Make Compelling TV

More lawyers on TV and/or politically minded TV personalities (with some lawyer-like rap) could be filling up even more screen time.

Think about a TV news/opinion show starring Michael Avenatti and Anthony Scaramucci. The players: A lawyer representing Stormy Daniels (a porn star who has filed suit against President Trump), and a former White House Communications director for President Trump, respectively.

Lawyers on TV can make good content. They know their arguments -- and love conflict. Love 'em? Hate 'em? Many will watch them. (While Scaramucci does have a Harvard law degree, he has never practiced law.)

Much of the Avenatti-Scaramucci talk comes from their multiple appearances on TV.

Right now, at least for Avenatti, he is taking a pass. He tweeted: “I have no interest in television right now. I enjoy my law practice and look forward to prevailing on behalf of my client Stormy Daniels.” Scaramucci? He declined to give a comment to The New York Times.



But that doesn’t mean some savvy looking-for-clients TV agents aren’t working hard at the prospect. Almost everyone would at least listen to a potential TV deal.

Regular TV guests in daytime or prime time -- professionals in their own area -- can land bigger TV gigs. Psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw started on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s; he got his own show in 2002.

TV can also be the launching pad for other big jobs. Former Fox News commentator John Bolton, an ex-Bush Administration U.N. Ambassador, recently got a job in the Trump Administration as National Security Advisor.

While total TV screen time is good, that’s not the whole story. Networks routinely do surveys and other research -- think “Q” scores -- to gauge how certain on-air individuals are faring with viewers.

Moving forward is the hard part. Can someone who seems like a niche personality hold an audience for the better part of a hour? And more importantly, will TV advertisers respond in kind?

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