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Life Imitates 'The Newsroom,' as CNN Heads Mainstream

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 14, 2012 at 5:42PM

In the last episode of Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," his fictional news show started to chase tabloid stories in an attempt to stop their ratings plunge. Well, in real life, number three network CNN is hurting for viewers, with its worst ratings in 20 years, and is now looking to go mainstream, according to The New York Post.
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Anderson Cooper, CNN
Anderson Cooper, CNN

In the last epsiode of Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," his fictional network started to chase tabloid stories in an attempt to stop their ratings plunge. Well, in real life, number three network CNN is hurting for viewers, with its worst ratings in 20 years, and is now looking to go mainstream, according to The New York Post.

It's like "that moment when MTV decided to stop playing music videos, because it wasn't working," one source told the Post. One on-air personality who is safe is Anderson Cooper, but there are no guarantees for the rest of the network. Entertainment interviewer Piers Morgan seems to be thriving stumbling in the ratings.

After The Post ran its story Monday, CNN clarified its addition of documentary travel host Anthony Bourdain as NOT reality television with a statement:

CNN, which recently announced the hiring of Anthony Bourdain as a contributor, is continuing to explore other nonfiction original series for the weekend. We routinely pursue new talent and programming concepts within the news category and often shoot pilots for any number of our networks.

Thus, reports the NYT,  Non-Fiction TV is the new CNN goal.

This article is related to: News, The Newsroom, Television


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.