“A Current Affair” – the tabloid TV show that cast host Maury Povich as a muckraking man-of-the-people – returns next week with a new look, a new focus and a new host.

When “A Current Affair” launched 20 years ago, it was the first show of its kind. Today, a handful of syndicated news shows are on the air, largely focusing on celebrity news.

Executive producer Peter Brennan said the new “A Current Affair,” hosted by Fox Sports’ Tim Green, will not be competing with celebrity-driven half-hours such as “Entertainment Tonight” and “Extra.”

Instead, “A Current Affair” will take a deeper look at smaller stories.

“There are stories out there that don’t see the national light of day,” Green said, “because the national media goes on one track and then everybody goes with it. Well, we won’t be about Michael Jackson.”

Taking a non-celebrity stance, say experts, could put “A Current Affair” in an enviable niche.

“They have a real opportunity,” said Bill Carroll, director of programming for ad-buying firm Katz Television Group. “We have been inundated with celebrity and the definition of what would have been defined as “tabloid’ is now mainstream. It’s finding that other unique way of storytelling. And if they’re able to do that, and Tim Green is able to connect with the audience, then they’re off and running.”

Green certainly has his work cut out for him if he hopes to achieve the kind of impact Povich had.

“The real question,” said Carroll, “is how Tim Green will fit that role. Because part of what made “A Current Affair’ the unique show it was, was the sensibility of Maury Povich. Maury would be a surrogate for the audience: skeptical at times; at times taken in by the emotion of a segment. And that was part of the chemistry of the show.”

Brennan, who also produced the original show, which ran from 1986-96, said “A Current Affair” will have the same edge and attitude as its predecessor.

“There will be no taboo subjects,” he said. “It can be funny and edgy and even naughty at times. But always respectful.

“In the old days, they called us “tabloid,”‘ he continued, “Well, I always thought “60 Minutes’ was the best tabloid show on TV. It was a show about people. To me, “tabloid’ means angling toward the ordinary people stories. That’s what we’ll do. We want to be tabloid at its best.”


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