CNN is getting out of the host business in its 9 p.m. time slot, at least for now.
The network announced on Thursday that it would insert a wide range of documentary series to play in the 9 o’clock hour lately vacated by the cancellation of the show hosted by Piers Morgan.
CNN made the announcement at its upfront presentation for advertisers on Thursday in Manhattan. One series is about jobs, “Somebody’s Got to Do It,” from Mike Rowe, the producer of “Dirty Jobs.” The network will also show “The Jesus Code,” a forensic search through the Bible.
CNN is also adding a criminal hunt series hosted by John Walsh, of the former long-running Fox show “America’s Most Wanted,” and a documentary series on the 1960s from Tom Hanks’s production company. It also has renewed series from Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain — Mr. Bourdain’s for two seasons.
All the shows are slated to fill the 9 p.m. hour, which has been especially problematic for CNN since Larry King departed in 2010.
This seems like a safer bet than putting all of their money on a longer contract with a new host. The network really doesn’t have an identity now and it would be difficult to find someone who “fits” when it is unclear exactly why kind of programming mindset he or she should fit into.
This also puts to bed any speculation that CNN would keep covering the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 as long as the plane remained missing.