CNN, if you’ve never heard of it, is a television (“TV”) channel that generally focuses on the news or things that are kind of like the news, like when Anderson Cooper can’t stop giggling about Gerard Depardieu peeing on an airplane. If you’ve never heard of it, though, that makes sense! Apparently no one watches it (it is the number 3 cable news channel, as you’ll read in a sec., which seems pretty good to me but I guess is actually not so good) so now they have to make shows that people actually DO watch. “Reality” shows! Oh! From the NY Post:

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.

Even a late night talk show?! ON CNN? Do go on!

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.

The Post goes on to list a few different possibilities for these new shows, included a The View-like panel show, five new reality shows similar to an Anthony Bourdain travel show that’s going to debut on CNN early next year, and some other personality-based programming. (Oooh and they say: “One outside producer who has been in meetings with CNN brass likened it to ‘that moment when MTV decided to stop playing music videos, because it wasn’t working more.’”) (It wasn’t working more WHAT?!) (Haha jk I do assume they meant “anymore.”) But then today CNN issued a statement that was meant to backpedal a little on the “reality tv” idea, but really only further pedaled it I think? It at least stationary pedaled it. You tell me what you think. Here it is from the NYTimes:

CNN, which recently announced the hiring of Anthony Bourdain as a contributor, is continuing to explore other nonfiction 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.

Hahaha, “for the weekend.” “CNN routinely lets its hair down on the weekend when it just needs to blow of a little steam, everyone knows that and CNN shouldn’t be persecuted for it because you know CNN works really hard all week and CNN just doesn’t understand why it can’t let go a little sometimes like everybody else; CNN is only human.” CNN, you poor baby. Go ahead, explore other nonfiction original series for the weekend! #YOLO! But obviously the question I have to ask of you guys is, WHAT IS THESE OTHER NONFICTIONAL SERIES GOING TO BE? Here are my guesses:

  • Just a bunch of pictures of Anderson Cooper, like a screen saver, except played over the pictures is a conversation Anderson is having with someone else about a vacation he took once.
  • Puck from the Real World is told that he’s going to host his own news show on CNN and then he does, but it’s like, whaaaat? What’s with this guy?!
  • A bunch of ladies put makeup on dogs.
  • Political comedians sit on a panel and a news story is flashed in front of their faces and whoever can make the most jokes about it in 45 seconds wins that round, and there are 60 rounds per episode.
  • A bunch of strangers live in a house together and have to watch CNN the whole time until the show is finished and they each have separate televisions and they each have a Nielsen box.
  • Bill Clinton travels around the world and is just very charming.
  • A lady with a big personality goes to a small town to see what kind of dirt she can dig up.

Good luck to CNN on these and other new projects. A gal’s gotta eat.

Comments (26)
  1. Isn’t the news technically reality tv?

  2. CNN standing for Cable Network News is our generation’s TLC standing for The Learning Channel.

  3. Why don’t they take a swing at FOX and enter the ‘Warped Reality TV’ market?

  4. “Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room” is going to turn into a big wolves vs. humans in a small arena a la the Hunger Games.

    the host’s comments will be reduced to Madden-like catchphrases. like when a wolf gets tackled and killed by a competitor he shouts, “Wooolf…..BLITZED!”

    at the end of each season, they bring in Sarah Palin on a helicopter to take out the last remaining wolves. because, let’s face it. Humans must always win. lest we propagate the myth of climate change.

  5. The two channels ahead of CNN are CSPAN & CSPAN2, right?

  6. Ryan Seacrest and some blond are currently prepping a segment on whether or not this signals “the dumbing down of American TV” for tonight’s E! News Daily.

  7. I’d watch that Anderson Cooper screensaver show.

  8. Okay, I’ll defend CNN… this release comes after a 20-year ratings low. CNN is clearly grasping at straws, and there’s nothing wrong with trying something new. And they’ve already clarified that they don’t plan on making reality TV like TLC or E! or whatever, just a different kind of nonfiction programming.

  9. But why not say they’re going to make more documentary-type programs, then? Saying they’re going to make reality shows makes them sound an awful lot like “we have given up and it’s time to pander”.

  10. how about Mark Wahlberg going around the world and stopping a bunch of wars ?

  11. Jill Zarin Reads Your Tweets! starring Jill Zarin.

    OR

    Abby Lee Miller likes things on Facebook! starring Abby Lee Miller

    (Wait, I think i like reality TV too much.)

  12. How about a screen saver of all the other guys Anderson’s lover kissed!

  13. Sam Waterson has to make some sacrifices if he wants to push that new debate format for the presidential candidates.

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