After Strong Jodi Arias Ratings, HLN Looks Ahead to George Zimmerman Trial

By Merrill Knox 

With the Jodi Arias trial almost wrapped up, HLN will try to capitalize on its ratings success with programming devoted to the upcoming trial of George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. HLN plans to present continuous coverage of the trial proceedings, which begin June 10. “After Dark,” which is getting a permanent place in the primetime lineup, will also be devoted to the Zimmerman trial beginning in June. The network has also slated a preview special, “Zimmerman Police Tapes,” for Memorial Day.

In other programming changes: HLN will premiere “Secret Lives with Jane Velez-Mitchell,” a weekly program devoted to the scandals of public figures like Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods, in July. Velez-Mitchell will host a preview of the new show on May 30 at 7pmET.

The network will also devote the first week in June to “America Behind Bars,” featuring reports about people who are in jail. Nancy Grace will host a two-night special on June 5 and 6 devoted to the Estrella women’s jail in Phoenix, where Arias has been incarcerated.

More from HLN after the jump.


 HLN Lineup Includes: Full Coverage of George Zimmerman Trial; Post Arias Trial Themed Reports Featuring Nancy Grace Behind Bars Special; 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

HLN After Dark Secures Permanent Berth on HLN’s Primetime Lineup; New Series Secrets Lives with Jane Velez-Mitchell Previews May 30

HLN, on the heels of its extraordinary ratings success throughout the Jodi Arias trial, will present a broad programing slate designed to serve its expanding audience with continued informative, provocative and stimulating fare.  HLN and its digital site set new audience records in March and April during the trial.

“At HLN, we engage with our audience daily, and the relationship has grown even stronger during the Arias trial,” said Scot Safon, executive vice president and general manager, HLN. “Viewers connect deeply with our shows, hosts and experts, and we will continue to build that relationship with compelling programming, whether it’s a riveting trial or a major pop culture event like the Daytime Emmys.”

  • On Memorial Day, May 27, HLN will present a special preview of the George Zimmerman trial with a special, Zimmerman Police Tapes airing at 6pm ET. Prior to HLN’s continuous coverage of the Zimmerman trial (beginning Monday, June 10), the network will present HLN After Dark Zimmerman, (date TBA). This special will review issues surrounding this hot-button case and feature HLN’s on-air team including Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Dr. Drew, Vinnie Politan, and Ryan Smith who will provide expert commentary.
  • On Thursday, May 30, at 7pm ET, HLN will present a special preview of the new Friday night series Secret Lives with Jane Velez-Mitchell, which unlocks the secrets that brought down some of the world’s most notorious public figures. The preview episode focuses on Jodi Arias. The series formally launches on Fridays nights in July (date TBA) and will feature bold face names such as Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and Casey Anthony.
  • Beginning June 3, Under the theme “America Behind Bars,” Morning Express with Robin Meade, its dayside and primetime programing will feature stories of men and women who are incarcerated or have loved ones in the prison system.  The themed programming culminates with Nancy Grace Behind Bars airing Wednesday, June 5 and Thursday, June 6 at 8pm ET. In this two-part special report, Grace reports from inside the Estrella women’s jail outside Phoenix where Arias has been held. Known as America’s foremost television prosecutor, Grace turns the tables and looks at life from the inmates’ point of view. The program will re-air a  2-hour special on Saturday, June 15 at 8pm ET.
  • As a timely follow-up to the issues raised during the Jodi Arias trial, HLN will present Stalked: A Dr. Drew on Call Special  (airdate TBA). Dr. Drew and stalking expert Michelle Ward examine the signs, signals and solutions to this troubling behavior which may or may not include driving by the  house of a significant other, researching him/her on the internet, or finding an excuse to return something of no consequence—just to see that person.
  • HLN After Dark, the nightly program hosted by Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith and featuring an audience that serves as a “jury,” was an instant ratings success when it premiered on March 13. Since that date the nightly show has delivered some of the network’s best ratings ever at 10pm. In June (Date TBA) the program will start to air regularly at 10pm ET Mondays through Thursdays and focus on stories (trials and otherwise) in the “court of public opinion.”
  • On June 16, HLN presents The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Awardslive from Los Angeles 8-10pm ET. A half-hour Showbiz Tonight red carpet show will precede the event that celebrates the best programming in the genres of talk, food, children’s, courtroom, game shows and daytime dramas.