Chris Wallace looks to go beyond partisan political news
Longtime cable news anchor and pundit Chris Wallace is stepping outside the realm of politics with the debut of a new show that will air for the first time Sunday evening on CNN.
The first installation of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” features interviews with celebrities Tyler Perry and Shania Twain as well as former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
As part of the new show’s rollout, Wallace also interviewed former professional baseball player-turned-business mogul Alex Rodriguez, a conversation which will air in the coming weeks.
Sunday’s episode, interviews from which are also available via streaming on HBO Max, features Wallace peppering Perry, Twain and Breyer with questions about their lives and careers.
Known for years as a dogged griller of top political figures, Wallace takes a more conversational approach with interviewees on his new show, while getting to the heart of the open questions surrounding them.
Wallace pressed Breyer, for example, about his feelings on his last term on the court, during which the liberal justice was on the losing end of a number of votes the high court cast on several consequential issues.
“Was I happy about it [the Dobbs decision]? Not for an instant,” Beyer told Wallace. “But there we are and now we go on. We try to work together.”
During the interview with Twain, Wallace questioned the country music star about her childhood, divorce and the road she has taken to industry fame.
At one point during the back and forth, Wallace played Twain’s hit song “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and the two sang the chorus together with Wallace strumming an air guitar as they laughed together.
“I worked a lot on this question,” Wallace smirked at Rodriguez during his sit down with the former All-Star slugger.
“Do you think you’re husband material or honestly, that you just like the chase,” he asked in reference to the baseball star’s history of dating leading female celebrities including a high-profile pairing with Jennifer Lopez.
“First of all, I would say I’m glad I’m not ever going to be a presidential candidate ‘cause you would hammer me,” Rodriguez shot back at Wallace about the Lopez question.
Wallace has said he left traditional cable news to focus more on his personal interests and interview subjects from a wider array of industries.
He served for years as the host of Fox News Sunday, leaving the network late last year to join CNN as part of its short-lived paid subscriber streaming service CNN+.
That streaming service was shuttered less than a month after it was launched, and CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, which also owns HBO, subsequently announced Wallace would instead host a show that would be available on HBO Max and air Sunday evenings on CNN.
“Chris Wallace is a legend in our profession. His unparalleled interviewing expertise has made an impact across industries and changed history,” Chris Licht, CNN’s new president, said in a statement this week.
Wallace has remained a fixture of CNN’s political coverage in recent weeks, popping up on cable in recent months to opine on various major news events including the Jan. 6 committee hearings and other topics.
“And for anybody who asked why I stopped just doing political interviews so I could interview everybody in the world, watch this interview,” Wallace said.