Looks like Anderson Cooper will be making room for another gay anchor with a solo show in CNN primetime.
Out newsman Don Lemon is going to be getting his own show on CNN…kind of. While Erin Burnett is on maternity leave, Lemon will be hosting one of two shows that will take over the 11 pm hour. Lemon’s show, imaginatively titled The 11th Hour, will run from 11-11:30 pm for three weeks starting on December 2.
The “test” format has proven to be popular with new shows in this age, and if the numbers are encouraging, Lemon and The 11th Hour will probably return in some form after the three week trial.
The news perfectly explains why the previously hard-news oriented anchor has been delving more and more into punditry and identity politics as of late. Lemon stays relatively silent on gay issues, but has caught some flack as of late for his take on issues concerning the black community. Earlier this year, he stated on CNN that Bill O’Reilly didn’t “go far enough” in his criticism of black culture, and was recently criticized for defending New York City’s controversial “stop and frisk” law.
There’s little information available on the format of the show, but with CNN regularly running a distant third in ratings behind their cable news counterparts MSNBC and Fox News, look to Lemon to spice it up with some Cooper or Maddow-style personality driven pieces along with his commentary on the hot topics of the day.