CNN Reportedly Wants Comedy In Primetime
CNN Reportedly Wants Comedy In Primetime
CNN is in the process of “reinventing” itself after the disasters of 2022. CNN+ crashed and burned upon launch, Jeff Zucker’s long term affair was uncovered and he resigned, and Brian Stelter was shown the door. But hiring Adam Kinzinger for his hatred of Donald Trump is not enough to fill the potholes at the network.
So what is CNN president Chris Licht considering to fill a primetime hole? Comedy!
The “news entertainment” personality could fill the primetime 9 to 11 p.m. hours with a nontraditional version of the news, five people familiar with the planning said. CNN executives have floated names including Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Arsenio Hall, and Jon Stewart, and have looked at other comedic news-focused talk shows for inspiration.”
CNN president Chris Licht hinted at his desire to sign Stewart in an interview last year with the New York Times, saying he’d love to bring on the former late night host, but Stewart remains under contract with Apple.”
Maher is a potentially more realistic prospect: The host of HBO’s long-running weekly show that bears his name is already in-house at Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN’s parent company (Puck’s Matt Belloni reported this week that CNN is in talks to begin airing some of Maher’s weekly extra HBO segments).”
Network higher-ups say Hall, who hosted a late night show from 1989 to 1994 and again from 2013 to 2014 and won NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice 5 in 2012, is not a serious prospect for a primetime slot.”
“They’re looking for their version of John Oliver,” one television news insider familiar with the search told Semafor.”
Executives have also discussed turning the 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. hours into a series of shows modeled like a variety program, with “shows within shows” for different journalists, one network executive told Semafor.”
Ohhhh, so much to unpack here. CNN is so desperate to get some kind of popular show that they are willing to hire a comedian to create content for them, instead of just being the butt of jokes as per their usual arrangement. But here’s the problem. Jon Stewart’s show on Apple+ hasn’t exactly run away with views, Trevor Noah just left “The Daily Show,” which is now tapping into a whole slate of Hollywood comedians as rotating fill-in hosts. What is the last “big” thing Arsenio Hall has done? The last thing on his filmography is the sequel “Coming 2 America” with Eddie Murphy in 2021. Bill Maher might be their safest bet, but Maher has the habit of speaking unpleasant truths to the left, which gets that side of the aisle – which would be watching CNN – pretty upset. Does anyone really think that CNN could handle Bill Maher in primetime when he is willing to call out the left like this?
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) June 18, 2022
It says a lot that CNN is willing to take HBO’s leftovers to just start filling in some blank spots, in hopes of bringing a few more eyeballs to their content. But the problem is that comedy is considered “dangerous” to the left. The left’s comics want to be considered virtuous, and as a result, they want applause more than laughs. Which is the reason why Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” is continually beating even the network comedy shows, which has the left confused as to why a Fox News show is getting better ratings than all their preferred comedy shows. The reason? Greg Gutfeld knows his audience, and dares to tell actual jokes about Democrats.
And this gets to the core of what Chris Licht wants. He wants his own Greg Gutfeld, and if he could get John Oliver over to CNN, Licht thinks that would do it. Problem: John Oliver is too wedded to leftist ideals to focus on being funny.
John Oliver, Amy Schumer and More Sign Writers Guild DEI Pledge for Late Night and Comedy/Variety TV Writers https://t.co/Wn3hXYrzCG
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 20, 2022
Yup, everyone is looking to have their jokes sent through a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” committee, also known as hiring more diverse writers, to make sure their content does not offend anyone. And comedy shows wonder why their numbers are dropping and Gutfeld is trouncing them in the ratings. You have ethnically diverse groups of writers all telling the same joke through different shows, and after a while, if you’ve seen one show, you’ve seen them all!
If Chris Licht was truly serious about getting a ratings win, he would be trying to hire Greg Gutfeld away from Fox News. That would likely not happen, but if he is serious about pursuing comedy, then he needs to not pick from the same old bunch that all tell the same jokes. Licht should be looking for an independent or a conservative who has a following, who would give Fox News a run for their money. Could he do that? Yes. Will he do that? Probably not, because Licht, for all his talk about going back to unbiased news, can only float to the “has beens” or “already takens” as options for CNN. Licht is looking for a way to make inexpensive and attention-getting content without spending big money or offending people. Well, I have a cheap and easy suggestion for him. Play Kamala Harris’s public comments, along with a laugh track, in primetime.
CRINGE: 99 seconds of Kamala Harris talking about her “love” for Venn diagrams. pic.twitter.com/eoSO8SAsHG
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 12, 2023
I guarantee you this is funnier than anything Arsenio Hall has done in twenty years.
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click