After seeing ratings plummet this year, CNN has begun looking to get into the reality television and late night talk show business, reports the New York Post‘s Michael Shain.
The news network has been looking around for reality TV ideas, going to outside production companies for the first time, and is in the process of developing a late night talk show
CNN has even gone as far as to begin contacting Hollywood agents in the hopes of attracting politically minded celebrities to these programs.
A few months ago, it was announced that Anthony Bourdain will be getting his own Sunday show on CNN and will also be serving as a guest contributor on other CNN shows. Now it appears that the network is using Bourdain as a paradigm for the new kind of television personalities that it wants on its programs.
It’s still very early on, but according to the Post, CNN’s new lineup will include a late night panel-esque talk show and four or five reality shows to create a new block of programming around Bourdain on Sundays.
As sad as all of this may be for what it says about the state of cable news, a huge shakeup at CNN hardly comes as a surprise.
This year CNN suffered its lowest ratings in 21 years, causing Jim Walton to step down as the network’s president after almost 10 years on the job. And just this week CNN suspended one of its biggest anchors, Fareed Zakaria after plagiarism allegations
CNN certainly would not be the first network to use non-news personalities in news programs, comedian Dennis Miller‘s regular appearances on Fox News are testament to that. However, if CNN does indeed go through with these new additions, it would certainly serve as a change in direction for the network, away from the strictly news focus of its past.
At the time of his departure, Walton said that “CNN needs new thinking.” It’s unclear if this is what he meant.
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