There may soon be a little less news at the Cable News Network. The Time Warner-owned channel says its exploring “non-fiction original series for the weekend” — which indirectly confirms a New York Post story this morning that says CNN is talking to outside producers to propose reality and talk shows. The network already started down that road when it recently hired author and chef Anthony Bourdain to host a weekend program about food and travel. The Post says that CNN is looking for other personalities like Bourdain. It’s also said to be considering five reality shows for Saturday and Sunday nights as well as a late-night talk show similar to The View. “We routinely pursue new talent and programming concepts within the news category and often shoot pilots for any number of our networks,” CNN says. Its growing interest in “non-fiction” programming, as opposed to news, comes as the network struggles to boost its ratings, which are hitting 20-year lows in prime time. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes recently told Wall Street analysts that execs “are not satisfied with CNN’s ratings performance and we are focused on fixing it.” He added that he’s looking for “non partisan coverage” that’s presented “in a very compelling and more engaging way than we’ve been doing of late.” It’s a shift away from vision of network founder Ted Turner, who told CNN’s Piers Morgan in May that he wanted CNN to “cover substantial news.” He added that it would serve the network well over the long run “even if the ratings weren’t the greatest.”
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