From Monday's exclusive Post article:
In the past few weeks, the No. 3 cable news channel has started seeking out reality-show ideas and big-name stars not afraid to talk politics. They have even begun working on a late-night talk show, The Post has learned.
Convinced that its current programming badly needs updating, CNN execs have been making the rounds of Hollywood’s top talent agencies — something entertainment networks do several times a year but a first for the old-line news channel.
In a series of conference calls, the network has also been soliciting ideas from the same producers who supply reality shows to channels like Bravo, Discovery and History, according to sources.
Among the changes in the works, according to documents obtained by The Post, are:
* A late-night talk show featuring a panel — an 11 p.m. version of “The View.”
* Five new reality shows to air on Saturday and Sunday nights — to compliment traveling chef Anthony Bourdain, who is set to debut a new Sunday night CNN show starting early next year.
* A hunt for new on-air personalities outside of traditional TV news. Bourdain is the “prototype” for the new star CNN is now looking for, it is telling Hollywood agents.
A statement released by CNN:
CNN, which recently announced the hiring of Anthony Bourdain as a contributor, is continuing to explore other non-fiction original series for the weekend. We routinely pursue new talent and programming concepts within the news category and often shoot pilots for any number of our networks.