American journalist Anderson Cooper’s new panel show, AC 360 Later, which fills the 10 p.m. time slot on CNN, has been officially cut from the network’s lineup, according to an announcement this past Friday. The program initially aired last September, when CNN was struggling with figuring how to fill the 10 p.m. time slot on the network. The network had tested panel shows before, a couple of which had been unsuccessful, but had settled on a panel show with Cooper as the host last year.
AC 360 Later featured a revolving group of guests on a panel led by Cooper where the daily news were discussed and debated. Evidence that the show might not work out in the long run surfaced soon after it initially aired, though when a documentary or other breaking news stories would take its place in the 10 p.m. time slot it was set for, it would not air.
CNN had a difficult month in January in terms of ratings, and the bad ratings for Anderson Cooper’s AC 360 Later likely had something to do with its non-primetime slot. Ultimately, it was cut from the CNN lineup. The slot was often filled before with replays of Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper’s other more successful show, which aired at an earlier time. CNN’s run of AC 360 Later was meant to be an experimental series, a more laidback version than Cooper’s earlier show. Several CNN shows, including AC 360 Later, were experimented with by Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, who also tested the show (Get To) The Point, which basically had a panel of commentators.
CNN’s most successful show is actually Cooper’s other show, Anderson Cooper 360, an Emmy Award-winning news show that has been successful with its high ratings since September 2003. Cooper often covers major news stories on this show, and even broadcasts live on the scene during major breaking news events. He has been well recognized and praised for his coverage of important news stories such as the 2005 tsunami in Sri Lanka, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope John Paul II, 2010’s BP oil spill and the hurricane in Haiti.
Cooper, 46, recently renewed his contract with CNN until 2016, in order to at least stay through the 2016 presidential election, which he wants to cover. Through an agreement with CNN, he also has a deal with CBS News, where he appears as a guest news correspondent for news show, 60 Minutes, several times a year.
There has been no word yet from CNN regarding which show will be filling the former AC 360 Later 10 p.m. time slot after being cut from the CNN lineup. Even with Cooper filling the spot himself with a different show before, he often came on himself in place of his panel show to broadcast repeats of his 8 p.m. show. The 9 p.m. CNN talk show, Piers Morgan Live, playing in the time slot in between, has done extremely well in the ratings, like Cooper’s show, so CNN must now determine how to successfully fill the spot after 10 p.m., which attracts fewer viewers.
By Laura Clark