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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Say It Ain't So

From Monday's exclusive Post article:

Suffering its worst ratings in 20 years, CNN is going Hollywood.

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.

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Anonymous said...

Good lord.

What insanity.

CNN --- do what you do best. Cover the news.

Be a niche channel. Be respectable. Turn a modest profit.

A news channels inherently can't make the same profits as the Cartoon Network and HBO. They are different business models -- and Bewkes & co should recognise that.

CNN should be a distinguished, respectable well-known brand that narrowly focuses on covering news, especially around the world.

The channel should be something that Turner Network is proud of --- but that isn't expected to turn a billon dollar profit by selling it's soul.

CNN management - what a bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

CNN is always behind the times and this will not change.
Fox beat them to it with "The Five," which is now their highest rated pre-prime show.
CNN is pure stupidity.
They will have the same problem that Anderson Cooper has.
If your ratings are low and nobody watches you, even reality stars wouldn't show.
Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

Someone made a very interesting comment at TVnewser that made me think. Here is the comment, and I quote:

"Though I'm sure not everyone is old enough to remember, this reminds me of what CNN was doing back when it actually was the newsleader.  Pre Clinton-Impeachment, and Pre-9/11, CNN had popular hour long programs on world and European music, fashion, sports, and television/movies--as well as various other other cultural non-hard news topics that aired on the weekends and at night.  They were equivalent to the style, food, etc. pages  in a well done newspaper.  Then obsession with politics and the salacious side of it crept in and all those shows officially died around the time of 9/11, when the "ticker" under the screen began and the news became politics, terrorism, and war all the time.  I know this will be criticized by those who don't remember the history of cable news as going lightweight, but it's actually a nice move back to what cable news used to be before it was politics and terrorism all day long.  I can't say I am sad.  I turn off TV news because it's all discussion, politics, and back and forth by people with very strong positions.  I don't feel like I learn or enjoy anything anymore.  If CNN can capture that, rather than chasing FOX and MSNBC's political coverage crowns (which they will never catch), I'm all for it."

Anonymous said...

@4.55am I like the long answer to that comment on TVN better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with @4:55AM but times have changed and if you do want to be successful, I highly recommend not having any shows and just do the news. Look how how awesome Al Jazeera is!

On the other hand, CNN did used to have a View type show with Crossfire or Capital Gang which were both successful. As for side shows, they had reality type programs like Sports Sunday, People Now, People In The News, Computer Connection, Future Watch, This Week in Science and Technology, Your Health, and Style with Elsa Klensch. Not saying they were all successful but this is how CNN used to be long time ago. Half hour weekly specials. It can be conflicting though considering MSNBC and FOX gained popularity this past decade.

Anonymous said...

@2.55PM Agree with first part of your comment. News should be the focus, personalities have destroyed CNN.

I have to disagree with the second part though. Science and Technology Week, Your Health, Computer Connection and Future Watch were nothing even similar to reality shows. They were 30 minute weekly programs that usually had three feature reports filed by different CNN correspondents. It wasn't hard news, but it wasn't far away from news either. People in the News dealt with various news items and again, it wasn't even resembling reality. Elsa Klensch didn't do realities either. If those sort of programs were to come back, I'd be all for it, but CNN is proposing something completely different. They don't want to produce weekly news magazines like the ones we're mentioning here, they wanna do realities you see on other stations. And unfortunately there's only one name for that - trash TV.

Anonymous said...

Did President Obama really have to explain Biden's latest gaffe?
Why doesn't he just follow him around like a puppy dog 'just in case?'
By defending him, and we all knew exactly what he meant, Obama acknowledged that it was a gaffe, made up by the Republicans.
Yes, financial institutions, if left unrestricted would put us 'all back in chains,' everyone of us and WE ALL KNOW THIS.
He did not have to differenciate between black and white.
It was ridiculous and Obama once again fell for the Ridiculous.
No defense was needed and next time...ignore THEM. They are your opponents and they will entrap you from now until election day and the citizens of the US should be given some credit.
You don't feed,'mad, hungry dogs.'

Anonymous said...

if it follows the Discovery , NGC, BBC Earth,
History, it will work. However, it should be
informative. CNN can't continue with news
that is politically centered Make the move to
becoming a content provider news network.
At the same time CNN also has to modernize
the news on the channel. The noon hour of
CNN Newsroom International is great and it
hands down the best edition of Newsroom.
Give us the arts authors,filmmakers, poets,
painters,musicians, photographers, etc. The
people who are actually out in the world who
are actually doing something other than just
sitting on their butts running their mouths.

Being that this is the NY Post , I take it with
a grain of salt. CNN should get back to having
a wide variety of show like they did back in the
day. Cable news has to change and can't stay
the same. CNN Erica Hill and Betty Nguyen are
available. They can replace Erin Burnett like
right now. Why is Out Front still on CNN ?

The perfect late night show for CNN is George
Stromboulopoulos. It is a live news show. CNN
should know that a panel won't work. Been
there done that with Staring Point. We all know
how bad that show is.