Anderson Cooper in Daytime Talk Show Deal
By BRIAN STELTER for the New York Times
Anderson Cooper.The CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will add a second show to his daily duties, a light-hearted daytime talk show, next year.
The syndication arm of Warner Bros. said Thursday that it had signed a deal with Mr. Cooper to host a daytime show starting in the fall of 2011. The untitled show will be topical, covering “social issues, trends and events, pop culture and celebrity, human interest stories and populist news,” the company said in a news release.
Mr. Cooper is also renewing his contract with CNN, where he hosts the channel’s signature newscast, “Anderson Cooper 360,” weeknights at 10 p.m. His existing contract was believed to be up in 2011. “I remain as committed as ever to my program on CNN, & will be with CNN for years to come,” Mr. Cooper said in a statement.
Warner Bros. and CNN are sister units of Time Warner.
Mr. Cooper’s talks with Warner Bros. were first reported by The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday night.
Warner Bros. will be shopping Mr. Cooper’s program to prospective stations in the weeks ahead. Stations are busy rebuilding their daytime schedules in light of Oprah Winfrey’s plan to end “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in September 2011, which leaves a major hole in the schedules of her partner stations. Most of those stations are replacing Ms. Winfrey’s show with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Dr. Oz” or a local newscast. In many cases, that means the shows are shifting to new time slots, creating vacant spaces that Warner Bros. hopes to fill with Mr. Cooper’s program.
In a news release, Ken Werner, the president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, said that the fall of 2011 “begins a transition period when long established franchises are leaving the air and making way for a new generation of shows.”
“Anderson Cooper is one of the most distinctive voices of the next generation of television,” Mr. Werner continued. “His popularity and skills uniquely position him to be the next big syndication franchise.”
Mr. Cooper, 43, is best known as a silver-haired newsman who travels the world for CNN, most recently distinguishing himself by spending weeks in Haiti after the earthquake there and in Louisiana during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But he has long held an interest in the softer side of television, too, regularly visiting “Live with Regis and Kelly” and other daytime shows.
Before joining CNN in 2001, Mr. Cooper hosted a reality show for ABC called “The Mole” and co-hosted the overnight “World News Now” for that network.
A daytime talk show could enhance the exposure of Mr. Cooper, whose 10 p.m. program trails in the ratings behind the bigger cable news channels Fox News and MSNBC. But it could also dilute Mr. Cooper’s personal brand and tarnish his news credentials in the minds of viewers.
Once the daytime program starts, it seems unlikely that Mr. Cooper will be able to rush to the scenes of breaking news, although Warner Bros. did say he would sometimes “take the audience along with him right into the eye of the storm, as he goes beyond the headlines and into the lives of those affected.”
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