Brooke Anderson is about to get an insider’s view of a major holiday tradition.
Along with Kevin Frazier — her co-host on the syndicated magazine program “The Insider” — the longtime entertainment-show anchor and reporter will handle Thursday’s (Nov. 22) “The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS” coverage of the 86th annual Macy’s gala in New York. It’s a chance Anderson is embracing for a multitude of reasons.
“I really could not be more excited,” the pleasant veteran of CNN and HLN tells Zap2it. “It has always been a tradition in my family, on Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember, that we turn on the parade and leave it on for hours. We’d cook and laugh while we watched it, and for me, it’s just not Thanksgiving without this parade.”
Anderson now has a family of her own to share it with: “My daughter and my husband will be coming with me. She’s just 3-1/2 years old, but she will probably be mesmerized by the colors and the performances and the gigantic balloons. I’m looking forward to seeing her reaction. It’s going to be really special.
“As a kid myself, I so wanted to be a part of the parade,” adds Anderson. “I wasn’t in a band, so that was out. And I wasn’t a cheerleader, so that was out … but I still had dreams of dancing or being a clown or doing something to celebrate. This is an opportunity for me to live out that dream of being up-close and personal with the parade.”
The CBS telecast also will let Anderson and Frazier use their interviewing skills. They’ll be talking with such guests as actors Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens (currently on Broadway in a revival of “The Heiress”), veteran talents Ed Asner and Henry Winkler (both on New York stages now, too, respectively in “Grace” and “The Performers”), and model Erin Heatherton. Also, country superstar Martina McBride and the casts of Broadway’s “Once” and “Newsies” will perform.
“It really does feel like it’s in our wheelhouse,” Anderson confirms. “Erin Heatherton will be on the CBS broadcast of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (taped recently for a Tuesday, Dec. 4, airing), and I know Kevin is probably very eager to get more details on some of those lacy numbers she wore on the runway.”
CBS is not only televising the parade, it also produces “The Insider,” and Anderson says she’s happy about “this great synergy that is happening now within the CBS family. Kevin and I are excited not only to do the parade together, but also to look forward to the new format of our show, which we’re launching in early January.”
Indeed, “The Insider” soon will be converted into “omg! Insider,” marking a new marriage of the program and the Yahoo! entertainment-news Web site named omg! “It’s a huge audience to talk to positively about what we’re doing and what we have to offer,” Anderson notes of her and Frazier’s presence at the Thanksgiving parade, “so I really appreciate the opportunity.”