Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau: Author News
HLN Will Add S.E. Cupp as Host, Introduce New Original Series on Friday Nights

SECupp

Mar 15, 2017

Brian Steinberg
MARCH 13, 2017 | 06:55AM PT

No matter how many changes HLN has seen in recent years, one thing has stood as a constant: multiple airings of “Forensic Files,” a documentary series about crime-solving techniques that has, over the years, aired on TLC, CourtTV, CNN and even for a brief time on NBC.

HLN hopes to cut back on the program in months to come, even though at present it fills about 90 hours a week on the Time Warner-owned outlet.

“We are reducing the network’s reliance on a single series, however successful that series has been,” says Ken Jautz, the CNN executive vice president who oversees HLN’s operations. “There is going to be more focus on original series.”

HLN executives are unveiling the latest steps in their efforts to revamp the network, which has for years served as a sort of flanker to sister CNN, all the while casting about for a new identity. After spending time establishing a new daytime schedule of new anchors – Carol Costello, Erica Hill and Michaela Pereira will follow morning stalwart Robin Meade – Jautz and other senior CNN executives are prepared to season primetime with documentary series about investigation and mystery, and will also add S.E. Cupp to its early-evening programming, where she will, starting some time in June, lead into Ashleigh Banfield’s program at 8 p.m.

“We are trying to bring high-quality appointment television to HLN primetime, being very mindful that the audience is a little bit younger than CNN’s, a little bit more Midwestern, and has known HLN to be the home of ‘Forensic Files,’” notes Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content at CNN Worldwide. “We think we can deliver a high-quality product that touches on similar themes to that show.” Last year, HLN began airing some of CNN’s non-fiction series – including “The Hunt” hosted by John Walsh, in a Friday-night block.

One of the new programs will be “Beyond Reasonable Doubt,” slated to debut Friday, June 2 at 9 p.m. from Nutopia and executive producer Jane Root, the team behind CNN’s “Finding Jesus” series. In an interview, Root described a series that will likely tantalize fans of detective work (one episode centers on a mutilated body found tucked inside an old, forgotten water drum) and new kinds of data and tracking. “It’s a personal, human story set against a background of amazing science,” she said.

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