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Is T.J. Holmes Moving To MSNBC?

by Sergio
December 29, 2012 1:25 PM
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Not exactly yes. Not exactly no either. But more like... well, sorta.

If you watched Alex Witt's show today on MSNBC, after Melissa Harris-Perry's show, you would have seen that T.J. Holmes subbed for Witt, while she's on vacation; and one presumes he will also do so tomorrow, on Sunday.

So wait! Does this mean that Holmes has joined MSNBC? Well not exactly.

Holmes, in fact, tweeted, in response to people wondering the same thing about his BET show, Don't Sleep:

To clear this up: last "Don't Sleep" episode of 2012 was last wk. Look forward to it in 2013. But, u can see me other places, like #MSNBC.

So if we're supposed to take him at his word, he will be popping up now and then on MSNBC as an occasional sub-host. However don't expect this to turn into a regular gig.

First of all, he should be under contract with BET, so he just can't up and leave. Although it is very possible that there might be a clause in the contract that says that if things aren't working out (whatever that means for either of them), he and the network could come to an amicable parting of ways.

On top of that, MSNBC basically has their own T.J. Holmes in the form of Craig Melvin who has been appearing regularly on NBC News, The Today Show and MSNBC as a news anchor and sub-host, and who the network is seemingly grooming for bigger things.

So it's highly unlikely that Holmes is going to be getting any up-front anchoring  job with Melvin already waiting, rested and ready in the wings (and if he think he does then you better believe Melvin will cut that to the quick. This is a cutthroat business after all).

The problem with Holmes is that, unfortunately, he's seemingly stuck in a bind. It looked like his contact at CNN either wasn't going to be renewed or it was obvious to him that the network wasn't going to move him out from his weekend slot. And, as far as we know, there weren't really any offers from other networks out there for the choosing. Hell, he probably would have taken an anchor job at Fox News if they had called.

So when BET came calling, at least it was an opportunity, but one that, so far, doesn't seem to be working out as well as both sides would've liked. Although it's still early in the game.

But watching him today on MSNBC, he was clearly, as Tambay said, "so much more comfortable and in his element."

He's not the next Jon Stewart, and nor can he be, nor does he want to be, we don't think.

So where does he go from here?

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  • CarolO | January 25, 2014 3:09 PMReply

    TJ is very good and better than Melissa Perry, Rev Sharpton, Lawrence and Alex Witt all together!

  • Mrs. K. Wright | February 10, 2013 12:50 PMReply

    TJ is a talented young man. His projects a "in control", professional and knowledgeable presence on TV. He has the knack of asking questions that we would ask if we had the person in front of us. He never panders, but remains focused on squeezing every bit of pertinent info that the viewer would like to get out of his guests. The viewer instinctively feel that TJ is fair and he seems to check his biases at the door better than most on the big screen. I think that CNN was not a good match for him but in all the other venues we've seen TJ, he clearly is capable, competent, and loves-loves what he does. TJ works best--for TJ and for us--when he is happy. Even though he is probably not where he wants to be during this time of "uncertainty", he shines on Don't Sleep as well as on MSNBC. We, the viewers just want to see him routinely and regularly--and happy doing what he does. It's a win-win; a win for him and a win for us.

  • pk | January 1, 2013 5:55 PMReply

    TJ is good on Msnbc.
    I watch "Don't Sleep" and have even attended a taping. Although it's an hour long they've just added a feature interview when the discussion panel time should've been lengthened. They bring up good questions and then there are no answers and TJ is a moderator in the discussions when I feel he should be more involved in them.
    I actually think he should've had a morning BET show instead. VH1 has morning buzz and I feel his audience of college students - 30/40 something adults would watch it easier going off to class or work instead of after primetime tv. I watch TVone's "Washington Watch" with Roland Martin at times...I don't think TJ fits on a show like that either.
    One of the better "Don't Sleep" segments was when he went to visit Sandy victims...him talking to real people on the street works better.

  • FactChecker | December 30, 2012 4:16 PMReply

    I wish MSNBC would give Michael Eric Dyson his own show. He's one of the greatest public intellectuals of our time. I NEVER watch Rev. Al and I don't like Craig Melvin. Both of them have grating voices. Meh. I think TJ would be an excellent and refreshing voice on MSNBC, or even TV One. BET's audience is too young and lacking in good taste to appreciate what Holmes is trying to do with his show. And he needs better producers and writers.

  • sergio | December 31, 2012 10:02 AM

    And speaking of Dyson like how much bigger is that neck of his going to get? He's beginning to look freakish

  • Anton | December 31, 2012 6:39 AM

    I agree with Sergio. A big NO to Dyson. Dyson is a smart intellectual, I'll give him that, but he wastes too much time analyzing pop culture for me to put him in the same ranks with the great black intellectuals from the past (has Dyson ever produced serious scholarship on par with those of his forefathers?). He's a slightly watered down version of Cornel West and Skip Gates, Jr, only that he talks faster than those two. I'm all for him going after bougie upperclass classism , even when he's part of that same class. But he's too much of a pop-intellectual for me to take him seriously.

  • AccidentalVisitor | December 30, 2012 4:56 PM

    Please, no! Eric Dyson is okay in small doses, preferably as a talking head for a segment or two on someone else's show. When he took over for Big Ed for a couple of weeks his lack of discipline finally showed itself when he was bringing on important "thinkers" of our time like, Nas, to waste ten minutes of the public's time. Talk about not knowing your (or should I say Ed Schultz's) audience. Besides Dyson refuses to be critical of the black underclass even during times in which some much needed hard truths have to be spoken. He'll go after the black middleclass (and I mean Democrats) instead if they chastise poor blacks in any way by bringing up the subject of responsibilty when it seems justified. Plus I'm afraid his love of hip-hop causes him to come across as a third rate poet when taking part of political discussions on those Sunday morning shows. As a talk show host he'll end up being more annoying than Tavis Smiley.

  • sergio | December 30, 2012 4:23 PM

    NO please not Speaks-a-Million-Miles-a-Minute Dyson. Joy Reid would be a great choice for a show. And Melvin's voice irritates metoo. Sounds like he gargles with sandpaper

  • Gary | December 30, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    Watching Weekends w/ Alex Witt and TJ Witt is subbing. He is doing a great job and would like to see him as a perminant host.

  • AccidentalVisitor | December 30, 2012 1:00 PMReply

    As someone already pointed out, there is room for both Melvin and Holmes. MSNBC has endless opportunities for black females as hosts of shows and as pundits who make appearances on their daytime and primetime lineup of shows., so why should it have a "Walking Dead" quota in regards to the amount of black men who could be in front of the camera? With that being said Melvin isn't going anywhere and does a very good job of controlling/handling the conversation when it includes multiple talking heads who disagree on a topic. I'm not convinced Holmes is as good on that front. He seems most comfortable talking to celebrities so maybe MSNBC can come up with a show that deals with lighter topics. Something that could be aired during midday of the MSNBC schedule. But if Holmes can handle the more political aspects of the news then by all means give him a political show too. My complaint towards him was his foolish decision to move to BET in the first place. He wasn't going to change the culture over there. I really disagree with the person who says Martin Bashir feels out of place. Bashir is an actual journalist (unlike Al Sharpton) with years/decades in the field training. He was a great get for MSNBC and whenever I catch his show I find it highly watchable. I like how he also brings an outsider perspective considering he is from England. And it is nice to see an anchor of a MSNBC show who is not either white or black. If MSNBC is the unofficial network of the DNC it needs to be as diverse as the DNC. That means more than simply having diverse guests on their TV programs; that means a diversity in the people who are are hosting those shows. Where are, for example, the Hispanic hosts?

  • Troy | January 8, 2013 6:04 AM

    they do need hispanic hosts. They just got black hosts last year. Hispanics have 100 channels in my cable package we have OWN BET TVONE BOUNCE.

  • Taz | December 30, 2012 7:47 AMReply

    Craig Melvin is a newbie in relation to TJ. He just left local NBC news in DC where he was known to be a far better field reporter than news Anchor. Unless he has grown leaps and bounds.......No competition. It would not surprise me that it is in TJ's contract that he can freelance or anchor sows on other networks.....Ed Gordon, Tavis Smiley and Donnie Simpson did not limit themselves either.

    I also don't think Don't Sleep is trying to be competition in any way, shape or form to Comedy Central programming....not sure why folks are attempting to compare the two. It is part news/part talk show, hence the more relaxed presentation.

    All that said, thanks for the picture.....I mean article.

  • trpy | January 8, 2013 6:01 AM

    their audience isn't younger, it is just blacker and less male oriented.

  • Taz | December 31, 2012 8:57 AM

    Understood, but there is a time where you have to go by what it actually is, not what BET as usual erroneously wanted to copy.

  • Nadia | December 30, 2012 12:01 PM

    @Taz - folks are comparing Don't Sleep to Comedy Central's programming because BET made that comparison from jump. I don't have the link in front if me right now, but they started pumping it as a Daily Show cousin. They even mentioned Bill Maher. They even brought over the producers of The Daily Shwo to work on Don't Sleep. They were going for a mix of existing shows and that was probably their problem to start with. They should've just let TJ be TJ. But obviously their audience is younger so they had to appeal to them. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the show in 2013. Likeif it stays the same, or if it changes radically. This one day a week schedule may not help. We'll see though.

  • Micah | December 30, 2012 6:30 AMReply

    I think T.J. Holmes is better suited for a show along the lines of Charlie Rose than Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are comedians that are skilled at making entertainment. They make entertainment that takes a satirical look at current affairs but it's still entertainment. As thought-provoking as their satire can be that is all they claim to be. T.J. Holmes is journalist, not a comedian. BET should work with his strong suit and make a prolong commitment to it. After the way they have cultivated their audience it's going to take awhile for a show the delves into serious topics to talk hold.

  • troy | January 8, 2013 5:58 AM

    this isnt that cause it has shallow as celebrities rarely intellectuals at the top of their fields.

  • Mekisha Hale | December 29, 2012 8:57 PMReply

    For reading the article here on Shadow and Act. It's known that T.J. Holmes is a natural to the news business. He's got the voice and the smarts to direct the news in a way that's interesting and sometime insightful. With that the story that he was anchoring for someone for the weekend if I'm correct Alex Witt show while she's on vacation, T.J. Holmes being there to anchor which I didn't see this weekend was pretty interesting,with a head up I will be looking forward to seeing T.J. Holmes on Alex Witt show. But back to the story it is pretty interesting that he would happened to be there on MSNBC network anchoring while he still has an show on BET "Don't Sleep". Which has been in the news more then just the reason for that the style of the show which has been for thirty minutes every Monday thru Thurs. To now only once a week on Wednesday nights for one hour. So there was there was a problem with how to promote the show in a way it would catch on with the audience out there looking for alternative way to watch the news of the day. But there was the something more that BET networks was missing and that was trying to get the show off on a good start which has been the trouble lately. Even though there is an audience and a sort of a fan fair with the show. It's not moving the network towards an hit show. So in a way the show is still in limbo. And it does make some sense that he meaning T.J. Holmes go ahead and make the best of the situation while still trying to make the show that he wants. But while waiting for something to happened why not go and anchor. At least for the the vacationing Alex Witt show. But it does make interesting conversation that he would just end up on MSNBC for this weekend and it does make sense still at the same time. Those skills that T.J. Holmes is got has to be for some good use and why not just go ahead and do what you have to do. But BET better watch out if this becomes something more then just,a once in a lifetime gig. So BET get to work are else!!!!

  • troy | January 8, 2013 5:56 AM

    there are people that have multiple shows on different networks. A natural doing something that is more corrupt than government.

  • ALM | December 29, 2012 8:24 PMReply

    I watch a significant amount of tv, and I still had to look Craig Melvin up when I saw this name in this article. The sad thing is, even after looking him up, his face still wasn't familiar. TJ has more notoriety and more of a fan base than Melvin does. I wonder if MSNBC is factoring that in? Could it be that they want the ratings that TJ brings? TJ definitely deserves a better gig than the treatment that BET has given him. If MSNBC doesn't come through, I wish that TVOne would get their act together.

  • troy | January 8, 2013 5:52 AM

    MSNBC fired their highest rated anchor they don't treat people any better.

  • JJ | December 29, 2012 4:11 PMReply

    Craig Morgan is the only anchor/journalist at MSNBC that feels out of place. I would never have to change the channel if TJ Holmes replaced him.

  • Sylvia | December 29, 2012 2:52 PMReply

    TJ Holmes is a smart man. I would think he'd keep all possible opportunities open for optimal exposure and career advancement. And yes, he was in his element today on MSNBC. He's far more charismatic as an interviewer than Craig Melvin. Furthermore, this isn't 1985 where there can only be 'one' guy. MSNBC, to their credit, has more than one star in the stable -- as evidenced by their B team during this holiday season, and I for one, look forward to more of Mr. Holmes' professionalism on MSNBC.

  • Troy | January 8, 2013 5:48 AM

    Maddow and Perry are the only good things left their. They gave Al Sharpton a show. Olbermann had them competing with Faux News. Their lineup is terrible maybe not in comparison but it is terrible.

  • Bill | December 31, 2012 12:58 PM

    TJ would be a great fit at 11:00pm (est) 8:00pm pst weekdays following the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Or, at 7:00pm (est) ahead of the Ed Show.

  • Sylvia | December 29, 2012 9:54 PM

    If MSNBC offered Holmes a weekend show, would he take it? Yes. Network news is dead. MSNBC is doing well ratings-wise -- their shows, and personalities are only getting better. Holmes would be foolish to turn it down. We all know his BET show is a sinking ship. He doesn't have to go down with the Titanic, his talents more than allow for a redux on a network -- and corporate parent, better prepared to nurture and properly service his potential. Imagine what Holmes and Reid can do on TV as their primary platform, and programming that could be created for second and third screens?

  • sergio | December 29, 2012 7:22 PM

    Which brings up a another question. say MSNBC does open up its weekend schedule and get rid of all those tabloid shows (which has been rumored for some time anyway) and offered Holmes a show would he take it? Weekends again? Been there, done that. Can't see him agreeing to that. As for Reid, I think she's great. She's a natural on TV which is actually very rare. I suspect the network is grooming her for something. Possibly a future weekend show

  • Sylvia | December 29, 2012 6:23 PM

    I'm not the news director or senior exec making those decisions. However if I was, I'd think about a news show with both TJ Holmes and Joy Reid. She's gotten a lot of airtime on all their prominent news shows during this past election cycle, and the woman knows of what she speaks. I'd also 86 Martin Bashir's show at 1 pm. He seems oddly out of place in their lineup, and not very compelling as a personality. MSNBC's entire Saturday afternoon lineup is up for grabs as far as I'm concerned. It's full of tabloidy-type news shows. Not exactly must-see TV.

  • sergio | December 29, 2012 3:10 PM

    But where can they put him? Pratically all the day time, more straight news slots on MSNBC are filled up right now. Somebody will have to leave to create an opening and, like I said, that is going to Melvin before Holmes. That is if Holmes even becomes more than just an occasional part time host here and there when someone is on vacation

  • lauren | December 29, 2012 2:12 PMReply

    Whew! He is soooo fine. Damn!

  • Dee Dee | December 29, 2012 9:45 PM

    Yes GAWD!

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