King Charles is poised to reign over CNN’s 10 p.m. hour, albeit for a limited time.
The new weekly one-hour primetime series will debut next Wednesday, November 29, at 10 p.m. ET, and is being co-hosted by CBS Mornings co-anchor Gayle King, and TNT Inside the NBA co-host Charles Barkley.
King and Barkley will maintain their duties at CBS News and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, respectively, while co-hosting this weekly program for CNN — currently slated to conclude at some point in Q1 2024.
“King Charles is different than anything we have on CNN’s lineup,” CNN talent and content development chief Amy Entelis told Variety. “It’s not a newscast, but rather a talk show centered around the news stories and cultural moments that Gayle and Charles are most interested in.”
She added, “The program will feature a mix of in-studio and remote guests with a focus on conversations that are important, serious and often funny. It will feel like you are spending time together with friends.”
King Charles, like other original series on cable news, may be preempted for breaking news as it happens. For instance, due to a Republican primary debate on December 6, the second week’s episode of King Charles will air at 9 p.m. ET.
Speaking of pre-emptions, CNN will pre-empt the daily program that recently debuted in the 10 p.m. slot, CNN NewsNight With Abby Phillip, on Wednesdays for King Charles. NewsNight has done a relatively solid job of holding onto its 9 p.m. lead-in so far. It remains to be seen if King Charles can do the same. After all, if we consider the viewing patterns for CNN’s newscasts versus its Original Series, King Charles’ ability to match CNN NewsNight’s numbers may be tough. But executives most certainly know that going in.
Former CNN CEO Chris Licht announced the show back in April, and said it was slated to debut in the fall. CNN delayed its launch date for primetime coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.
“This show will be an exciting new way we are delivering culturally relevant programming and unique perspectives to our audience, from two incredibly dynamic personalities,” Licht said at the time in a note to staff.
King Charles will be executive produced by Nick Tuths, and was developed by CNN svp of content development including Ryan Kadro, a holdover from the Licht era. Kadro will serve as a senior producer, as will Titus Falodun. Britt Kahn will serve as senior talent executive, Kira Kleaveland and Isabella Rivera will be producers, with Sydney Walton working as an ap.