One of the most significant programming moves since joining CNN as CEO nearly a year ago was the hiring of Chris Licht CBS Mornings co-anchor Gayle King and TNT NBA Analyst Charles Barkley hosts a weekly prime-time show called King Charles.
The program was announced on TNT as part of the channel’s pre-NBA playoff coverage.
“I think what’s been so great for both of us is that it’s live TV,” Kim said on the show. “What should happen will happen.”
King Charles will begin an hour-long show on CNN later this year and enter the . King will continue to work for CBS in the morning, while Barkley will continue to work for Turner Sports.
Buckley said he wasn’t interested in the idea of hosting for CNN until King’s name was mentioned. Likewise, King said she was “not looking for another job.”
At a lunch event Thursday at the Paley Center in New York, Lichter was asked about King -Barkley’s rumors of the show, and responded, “Isn’t that a fun show? Don’t you watch that show? I will, no matter what network it’s on.”
The show will be a major turnaround for CNN, which has been undergoing a programming reset since Licht joined about a year ago. So far, he’s launched a new morning show and revamped the daytime news segment with a more dynamic format.
During prime time, CNN has experimented with a variety of formats, from panels and discussions to feature-length interviews.
However, King Charlie will be a very different type of show. At the Paley Center At the event, Licht said he wanted to make a big splash and “try something different.”
“One of the things that has always been clear to me is that we should try to widen the aperture of primetime. We need to compete not for news junkies,” Licht said. “Let’s fight over the people who watch TV, they have discretionary time… People who say should I watch ESPN? Should I watch Netflix? Should I watch HGTV? Hey, there’s always something interesting on CNN. And I think if we compete for that audience without offending the hardcore cable news fan, that’s the best guess or best hypothesis for me to succeed.”