CNN’s Amy Entelis on Why the Network is Doubling Down On Documentaries

By Jordan Chariton Comment

BlackfishJeff Zucker is looking at all remedies for CNN’s ratings woes, and he may have found a winning formula: more original series and documentaries.

With the success of shows like Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”—which won an Emmy in its first season— and documentaries like “Our Nixon” and “Blackfish” hitting high ratings marks, CNN senior VP Amy Entelis spoke to Vulture about the network’s push for original longform programming.

It’s about expanding what kind of content we can bring to our audience. People can get their news from a variety of different places now, and the competition for that is very fierce. We want there to be more things that bring an audience to CNN. People come to CNN for every crisis and every breaking news story. And [that] will always be our pillar. But we also want people to come to CNN in between those crises. We want … to have more appointment television. We want it to look and feel different. We want to make an event out of it.

“Blackfish” drew 1.3 million viewers in its debut last month — and continues to run on CNN — giving the network a rare victory in the A25-54 demo over Fox News and MSNBC.