Maybe they figure it’s better to have people laugh with you rather than at you.
According to a report from Semafor, CNN may be looking to add some levity to its primetime offering by bringing on a comedian to host a show between 9 and 11 PM.
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).
“They’re looking for their version of John Oliver,” one television news insider familiar with the search told Semafor. CNN is also closely watching the success of Fox News’ Gutfeld!, which has started to beat Colbert in the late-night wars.
More over at Semafor:
Not shocking. They have been a joke for 10 yrs. ??@CNN is serious about getting into comedy https://t.co/jkvpjAcdxP
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) January 16, 2023