CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who has vowed to shake up the network’s primetime this year, will experiment with several formats at 10 PM for five weeks. Don Lemon debuts on Monday — this time as anchor of The Don Lemon Show, leading into another new program called Making The Case at 10:30 PM. It’s Lemon’s second recent audition, having hosted the 11 PM program 11th Hour during Erin Burnett’s maternity leave last year. Lemon inserted himself into the Michael Dunn trial in a small way, when he announced he was “pissed” at the “ridiculous” jury’s inability to reach a decision in re whether Dunn was guilty of “murdering a teenager because his music was too damn loud.” Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett took the bait, saying in a series of tweets that “the sum total of what Lemon knows about the law and this case… could be written on the head of a pin” with plenty of room left over, to which Lemon responded, “Wow, someone is suffering from a bad case of the Michael Dunns. Guess my TV’s too loud…Mind your business old man.” (Jarrett is about 11 years older than Lemon.)
On Tuesdays, CNN will telecast one-hour special reports at 10 PM and on Wednesdays will present Death Row Stories. CNN’s docu-series Chicagoland airs Thursdays in the hour, and on Fridays is CNN Spotlight followed by Unguarded With Rachel Nichols. AC360 repeats are back at 11 PM Monday through Thursday, with Friday home to Death Row Stories in the hour. The five-week schedule was first reported on TVNewser.
Making The Case will be hosted by CNN legal analysts Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin, who were occasional panelists on Anderson Cooper’s roundtable program — an earlier, short-lived 10 PM experiment. Geragos, the attorney best known for defending Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson, and former Fox News contributor Hostin played prominent roles on CNN during its coverage of the ratings-grabbing George Zimmerman trial.