Prince Michael Jackson struck out on his own as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday night.
Despite those efforts, Michael Jackson’s 16-year-old son found himself the centre of the story on Tuesday evening.
The 30-minute programme featured clips of co-host Brooke Anderson grilling Prince Jackson with questions in between teasers for his first assignment, while he patiently waited for his moment to step into her shoes and test his skills as an interviewer.
With little known about the length of Prince Jackson’s contract, producers were keen to exploit their most high-profile – and their youngest – new celebrity reporter.
Teasers airing before his debut showed the teenager stiffly dressed as if ready to sit for a serious interview, while co-hosts told viewers about ET’s newest addition.
Critics immediately put out their claws – surely a 16-year-old has not earned the credentials to juggle on-air interviews, despite his or her own status as a celebrity or even a studious cinephile, as Prince Jackson described himself.
His banter with Brooke Anderson was awkward, even cringe-worthy, though on par with exchanges between evening news anchors.
Prince Michael Jackson struck out on his own as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday night
Thrusting a teenager in front of cue cards and a glaring red light did little to enhance the story (Prince Jackson’s first assignment would be to interview the cast of Oz the Great and Powerful).
But viewers, and interested fans of the Jackson clan, did get a glimpse into how young Prince sees himself stepping out of his father’s shadow.
“I’ve been raised around stuff like this so it was different being the interviewer instead of the one being interviewed,” he told Brooke.
Prince Michael Jackson refers to his late father with the ET veteran compliments him on his maturity.
“That’s what most of my people say,” he responds.
“That was all thanks to my dad. He raised me right.”
Prince Jackson was just 12-years-old when his father died, leaving him and his two siblings in the care of extended relatives, including their paternal grandmother, Katherine Jackson.
Rumours claim that Chelsea Clinton's much-hyped deal with NBC may already be coming to an end
Chelsea Clinton was billed as one of the most “boring people of her era” while her performance was slammed as monochromatic and lacking charisma. Now rumours claim that Chelsea Clinton’s much-hyped deal with NBC may already be coming to an end.
Chelsea Clinton’s original contract with NBC was only for 90 days and sources say it is unlikely she will extend this.
According to the New York Post, NBC created “unrealistic expectations for Chelsea, who in turn signed the short contract to see if she liked it or not”.
The source said: “It’s possible she will do more for NBC in the future, [but] she doesn’t know if she’ll sign another contract.”
According to other sources, Chelsea Clinton, 31, was “set up for a fall”, merely used as a ratings grabber so that the network could announce her deal to become a full-time special correspondent to great fanfare.
There was huge anticipation in the run up to her December 12 debut but she was barely off the air before critics were slamming her as wooden, nervous and boring.
An NBC news spokesman has denied that Chelsea Clinton is already poised to leave the network.
“This is 100 per cent false,” NBC spokesman told New York Post.
“You will see more pieces from Chelsea. She has been warmly welcomed into this news division, and we can’t be more pleased with her work. We hope she will be with us for a long time. There was no over-hyping of her role.”
Chelsea Clinton’ spokesperson said: “She is only at the beginning of her contract, and when she gets closer to the end, discussions will begin about whether or not to renew.
“In the meantime she is very much enjoying her time there and looking forward to her next piece airing.”
In her first segment with NBC, Chelsea Clinton chatted with Rock Center host Brian Williams on the NBC sofa and did a segment on a non-profit organization.
Her first report was a feel-good piece from the Topps Center in the poverty-stricken Pine Bluff in Jefferson County, Arkansas.
Chelsea Clinton was filmed making cornbread and interviewing founder Annette Dove about the 500 children and young adults they serve.
The report was part of the network’s Making a Difference series. While her debut went smoothly it wasn’t met with enthusiasm by many.