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CNN Dips Its Toe Into Comedy With Invoice Maher Segments

CNN is including comic Invoice Maher to its Friday night time lineup. Beginning this Friday at 11:30pm ET, the community will start airing segments of Additional time, the after-show phase of Maher’s weekly HBO late-night present, Actual Time with Invoice Maher, throughout CNN Tonight. HBO and CNN share a mum or dad firm, Warner Bros. Discovery. The information, first reported by the Los Angeles Instances, comes as Puck earlier this month reported on discussions round CNN utilizing Maher’s post-show segments, which had beforehand solely aired on YouTube. 

Maher’s addition follows reporting that CNN CEO Chris Licht is contemplating a comic to host one in every of its prime time exhibits. CNN has been and not using a everlasting host for its 9pm hour ever since Chris Cuomo obtained fired on the finish of 2021, and its 10pm hour since October, when Don Lemon moved to mornings; Alisyn Camerota has been filling in for Lemon, and Laura Coates has been internet hosting an 11pm present. CNN executives have apparently floated Maher, Trevor Noah, and Jon Stewart as all potential “information leisure” personalities to fill the void, per Semafor’s Max Tani. “Executives have additionally mentioned turning the 9 pm to 12 am hours right into a collection of exhibits modeled like a range program,” Tani reported. Licht, who got here to CNN after six years as the manager producer of The Late Present with Stephen Colbert has dismissed the concept he’s seeking to merely plop a late-night comic in CNN’s empty prime-time chair. “I labored on a comedy present. And it took over 200 folks to supply an precise comedy present. So no, I might not be so silly as to, in a single fell swoop, harm the model of comedy and information by making an attempt to do a comedy present on CNN,” Licht advised the LA Instances’ Stephen Battaglio in an interview printed Monday. As a substitute, Licht mentioned, he’s in talks “with culturally related people from the worlds of leisure, sports activities and comedy who can convey contemporary and distinctive views to the information” and “assist broaden the attraction of our prime time.”

The political-comedy route has definitely paid off for Fox Information, whose late-night present Gutfeld! has been pulling in a nightly common of over two million viewers. Primarily based on latest Nielsen knowledge, CNN is in want of a jolt. The community “notched its lowest scores in 9 years throughout all its day components for the week of Jan. 16 by Jan. 22, 2023,” The Wrap reported. In prime time, CNN averaged 444,000 viewers and 93,000 in the important thing age 25-54 information demographic, in comparison with Fox Information’ 2 million viewers and 256,000 and MSNBC’s 943,000 viewers and 91,000 in that very same demographic. CNN can also be lagging with its rebooted morning present, CNN This Morning, hosted by Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins, the most important programming transfer that Licht has made since becoming a member of the community final spring. It’s solely been on for 3 months, however the morning present noticed its lowest numbers since launch, The Wrap reviews, averaging 331,000 viewers (that is in comparison with the almost 1 million that Fox & Buddies drew and 760,000 for Morning Joe.) Licht advised the LA Instances the morning program is “simply discovering its footing,” noting that Morning Joe—which he created—“took a couple of 12 months” to get right into a rhythm.

Maher, the morning present, and the rejiggered daytime lineup are apparently simply child steps: Licht advised Battaglio it’s “too early to say” what’s higher about CNN since he arrived “as a result of we haven’t actually executed numerous what we’re going to do.” Apparently, Licht has been batting round a variety of concepts to get extra eyes on his community, together with placing the newsroom’s 9am morning editorial assembly on air. Licht advised Battaglio he “was talked out of it for quite a lot of causes”—more likely to an enormous sigh of aid from CNN’s reporters, editors, and producers.

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