Anaheim, Calif. -- As part of its effort to broaden its
audience, Courtroom Television Network has a batch of new original shows set for its
revamped primetime lineup, which it will start rolling out in January, officials said last
Court TV president Henry Schleiff said the theme for the
network's new primetime schedule will be "crime and punishment," offering a
window on the American system of justice. Court TV is dayparting its schedule, keeping its
bailiwick of live trials on during the day while bringing entertainment and informational
programming to the evening.
The nightly programming will lead off at 6:30 p.m. with the
new series Pros and Cons. Originally slated to be named Rap Sheet,Pros
and Cons is a half-hour legal news magazine show. It will be hosted by Court TV
anchors Gregg Jarrett and Rikki Klieman.
"It's our firewall between day and night,"
Pros and Cons will be followed at 7 p.m. by the
off-network show Homicide: Life on the Street, which will also air at 9 p.m.,
midnight and 3 a.m. weeknights. At 8 p.m., Court TV will premiere Snap Judgment,
hosted by radio commentator and comedian Lionel. Snap Judgment, which repeats at 11
p.m. and 2 a.m., will cover strange but true cases in America's lower courts, from traffic
court to small claims to night court.
"It's MTV visits the lower courts," said
Schleiff, adding that Court TV wants to build Lionel into a personality the way E!
Entertainment Television did Greg Kinnear.
With the airing of Snap Judgment at 11 p.m.,
Schleiff said he is trying to counterprogram the broadcast networks with a show that will
attract black viewers in late night, like Arsenio tried to do.
The revamped Johnnie Cochran show, now dubbed Johnnie
Cochran Tonight, will air nightly from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., leading into the 9 p.m.
showing of Homicide. The Cochran show will also repeat at 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
At 10 p.m., Court TV will air shows created for a
documentary block called "Crime Stories," covering sensational trials, infamous
prisoners and actual accounts of notorious crimes -- shows called Trial Stories, Prison
Diaries, and After the Verdict.
On weekends, Court TV will air acquired movies -- under the
banner "Holmes Box Office," that's Holmes as in Sherlock -- from 2 p.m. to 4
p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Schleiff said. The kinds of movies
that viewers can expect to see include fare such as To Kill a Mockingbird and 12
Schleiff said his goal is to increase Court TV's perennial
0.1 Nielsen Media Research rating into a 0.4 in primetime.
Court TV is targeting the 18- to 49-year-old demographic,
and Schleiff added that many of the network's primetime shows and talent, such as Cochran
and Lionel, have special appeal to African-American audiences.
"We have relaunched this network," Schleiff said.
"It represents the passion that's inherent in the subject itself. We haven't done
justice to that."
By the end of the first quarter, all of the new primetime
programming will have rolled out, Schleiff said.
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