Court TV Goes for New Daytime Look
Kicking off its fall season-and looking to create more appointment viewing during its trial coverage-Courtroom Television Network will debut four new daytime shows this week.
Each of the daily shows is two hours long. Collectively, they give Court TV a new on-air look during the day, when the network analyzes legal issues and courtroom proceedings. The four programs will have unique graphic and music components.
The new scheduling doesn't mean that Court TV is abandoning live trial coverage-its bread and butter-during the day, according to Marlene Dann, vice president of daytime programming. Instead, the network is trying to draw more viewers in to that coverage through hosted shows with a very specific point of view on each day's proceedings.
Similarly, Court TV's daytime shows will incorporate live trial coverage when the network is televising cases.
"Trials are still our main star," Dann said. "But this will make our trial coverage a little more accessible. It's another way in. We're trying to get more appointment viewing."
She compared Court TV's new daytime approach to CNBC's start. In its early days, CNBC offered a wheel of business coverage during the day, but later switched to individual shows that covered the day's business news.
Open Court will air from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and kick off daytime trial coverage with a discussion of how the case of the day raises issues that affect viewers' daily lives. Legal journalist and lawyer Michael Ayala will host the show, which aims to provide a context for the proceedings.
Open Court will be followed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by Trial Heat. On that show, former prosecutor Nancy Grace and ex-defense attorney June Grasso will draw from their own experience to analyze the personal tragedies and legal complexities behind current trials.
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Both Sides will air. From Monday through Thursday, managing editor and chief anchor Fred Graham will be joined by lawyers and newsmakers to debate important and controversial issues from around the country. On Fridays, trial lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz will host Both Sides.
Closing Arguments will finish the day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Former criminal defense lawyer Rikki Klieman will provide a final analysis and commentary on the day's coverage.
Crier Today, Court TV's current daytime series, will remain from 1 p.m to 2 p.m.
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By Kent Gibbons