Thompson to Host Court TV's Saturdays

Former CNN Headline News anchor and NYPD Blue
star Andrea Thompson joins Court TV next month, hosting a new Saturday-night block that features original programming.

Starting June 8, Thompson — who abruptly quit her post at Headline News in March, after just seven months on the job — will host a three-hour programming segment featuring two of the network's more popular series, Forensic Files
and The System, said Court TV executive vice president of programming Art Bell. NYPD Blue
will open the block at 8 p.m., followed by Files
and The System.

Court TV's original shows replace the ratings-strong Perry Mason
movies, which have averaged between a 0.8 to 0.9 rating for the network.

"Perry Mason
was doing well and we've been running the [movies] for some time," Bell said. "But we wanted to put our original programming in front of our viewers on the weekend and drive ratings for the night."

Thompson will appear throughout the three-hour block, introducing each show and providing additional information every hour. It's still unclear how long the various segments will run, Bell said.

Thompson's presence will help attract viewers that may not get to see Court TV's originals during their regular weekly time slots, he said.

"We wanted to launch our new Saturday-night lineup with a bang, and we thought having Andrea Thompson [host] was the way to go," Bell said. "She's hosting in a way that will bring in audiences."

Bell wouldn't predict how well the Saturday-night block would perform, but he hopes the programming will at least match the network's overall 0.8 primetime average. He also wouldn't rule out future opportunities for Thompson at the network, although nothing is planned at present.


In other Court TV news, the network will air a July 4 programming stunt around NYPD Blue. The "Red, White and All Blue" programming block will feature a full day of movies starring NYPD Blue cast members, including Glitz
(Jimmy Smits), Murder at Devil's Glen
(Rick Schroder), Morrison Murders
(Gordon Clapp), Serial Killer
(Kim Delaney), Kidnapped in Paradise
(Charlotte Ross) and Hunt for Justice
(Nicholas Turturro). Turturro will host the 16-hour marathon, said network executives.

The next day, Court TV will present every episode of NYPD Blue's sixth season in their entirety, beginning at 9 a.m. As part of the 21-hour marathon, the network will feature a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of the program.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.