Eric_Bolling-007.jpgTonight’s cuppa: decaf chocolate mint coffee (Mint, get it? Mint, like, Fort Knox, money … oh, never mind)

Last week, Eric Bolling, former co-host of Fox Business Network’s (FBN) now-axed “Happy Hour” — which also featured Cody Willard, who’s appeared here on Hot Cuppa TV — launched a new venture called “Money Rocks.”

The weeknight series occupies the same timeslot — 8 p.m. ET — as the top-rated cable-news hour “The O’Reilly Factor,” on FBN’s elder-sibling cablenet, Fox News Channel (FNC), which stars Bill O’Reilly.

So, of course, in his first episode, Bolling had to hustle from his studio over to O’Reilly’s at Fox HQ in New York City to get some advice on how to have a successful cable-news show (click here for that and other “Money Rocks” videos).

“He was so accommodating and nice and fun,” says Bolling, “made a little bit of fun of me, which is good.”

(For the record, O’Reilly instructed Bolling to wear a tie because “women love the neckwear,” but as of today’s — June 28 — show, Bolling was still sporting an open collar.)

FNC anchor Glenn Beck (right) — whose FNC series “The Glenn Beck Show” used to air directly across from “Happy Hour” at 5 p.m. ET, and has featured Bolling as a guest host — makes regularThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for headshot_glenn_beck.jpg appearances on O’Reilly’s show, under the title, “At Your Beck and Call.”

Asked what such a segment for him should be called if it ever comes to be, Bolling suggested, “Bolling for Dollars?”

As Bolling sees it, his new show has elements of places he’s showed up before.

“I think ‘Money Rocks,'” he says, “is a little bit of ‘Happy Hour,’ a little bit of ‘RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld’ and a little bit of maybe ‘Beck’ and ‘O’Reilly’ mooshed together. I think we have the best of all worlds.

‘It was really (created on) the spur of the moment. I was called in, and they said, ‘Hey, Bolling, if you had a show, what would it be all about?’ I had no preparation at all. I thought I was getting in trouble for something I said on ‘Happy Hour.’

“The first thing that came to my mind was a show about the money angle of everything — sports, music, entertainment, business. It’d be great. We’d go after really high-profile guests, let them tell us what makes them tick.

“Really, that’s what we’ve done. It’s a celebration of the American spirit and the American dream.”

But not everyone gets the idea right up front.

Says Bolling, “A lot of people are like, ‘”Money Rocks”? Are you an elitist, and you think money is all that?’ it’s really more than that. We’re in America. Anyone has access to becoming successful. That’s the really cool thing about where we live, and that’s what we highlight.

“I come from a lower-middle-class family. My mom worked two retail jobs to make a living. My father was a traveling salesman. Here I am, I’m on TV. I played professional baseball for a little while, and now I’m on TV. How cool is that?”

A native Chicagoan, Bolling wastes no time answering the “Cubs or White Sox?” question.

“I used to ride my bike to Wrigley Field,”
he says, “hang out, wait for the balls to come over the left-field fence. I’m a Cubs fan, big time.”

Among the folks who’ve been on “Money Rocks” so far are supermodel Janice Dickinson, rocker Ted Nugent, “RedEye” sidekick Bill Schulz, actress Lisa Kudrow, actor Joe Piscopo and NFL star Tony Gonzalez.

Thumbnail image for bret-michaels-celebrity-apprentice-s3-320.jpgThis week’s guests include: (Tuesday) former White House Communications Director Dana Perino, City Sun Tanning owner Jan Meshon (perhaps discussing the new tanning tax that so dismayed Snooki from “Jersey Shore”), former New York Mets general manager Jim Duquette and model/actress Yaya DaCosta; (Wednesday) Ringo Starr, U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan, Sacramento Kings owner George Maloof and basketball agent David Falk.

Bolling is also working on having “Celebrity Apprentice” winner  Bret Michaels (above) on the show sometime in July.

Speaking of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Bolling is friends with its host, real-estate mogul Donald Trump, but he stays close to home when it comes to naming his personal money guru.

“My mom,” says Bolling. “‘Never quit!’ Mom was my inspiration to succeed.”

Posted by:Kate O'Hare