Larry King returns to talk, but online

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Larry King has told viewers that he wants to be frozen after his death. And that's fitting because this talk show host's new Web endeavor on Hulu, "Larry King Now," is almost exactly that -- his persona is cryonically preserved on the Internet, in suspenders, if not suspension, in fine fettle and ready for television resuscitation sometime in the future.

"Larry King Now," which Mr. King created in partnership with a new digital video network, Ora TV, is an example of how the Internet accommodates old age as easily as youth. Justin Bieber and Lena Dunham got their DIY start on the Internet. Older stars who have retired from television but still have an itch to be on camera can keep their careers going online. It's probably an even better alternative than cable because most people don't surf as far as AXS TV, the cable network formerly known as HDNet, where Dan Rather went after he left CBS News.

And Mr. King -- who stepped down from his old talk show "Larry King Live" in 2010 after 25 years on CNN (although he did a few specials after that) -- picks up pretty much where he left off, with blunt but not particularly honed questions and plenty of bonhomie.

The Web version is about half an hour long, with new taped episodes posted four days a week. King interviews most guests in his house, next to a wall-size display case crammed with plaques, awards, photographs, trophies, autographed baseballs and memorabilia. It's a backdrop that suggests restless retirement.

Mr. King clearly isn't ready for a nursing home. "Larry King Now" is his version of assisted living: The locale is smaller than his old home, and the services are more limited, but he is still holding court on his own time and on his own terms.

tvradio


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