CNN This Morning Makes Its Debut

By Mark Mwachiro 

“Is this rehearsal, or is this real?” Don Lemon asks his new morning show cohosts, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins, while welcoming viewers to the debut of CNN’s new morning show, CNN This Morning.

CNN is approaching morning news with a new style, one that they feel will be game-changing. Early indications are that it will be more business casual than business, reflected by the bright set featuring warm colors and a tie-less Lemon.

“You are going to learn a lot about us and get a lot of news,” Lemon added, right before Collins, who is new to New York, recounted, via sending a series of text messages to her morning colleagues, how difficult it was for her to get a good night’s sleep because there was a Halloween parade blaring music right outside her apartment.


“Welcome to New York, girlfriend!” Harlow replaying how she responded to Collins’ text messages.

Harlow herself talked about being up past her new bedtime because she was out trick or treating with her kids.

After the morning pleasantries were complete, CNN This Morning was all business, covering the day’s top stories with the required sense of urgency.

With midterm elections a week away, politics was heavily featured on the show. Lemon had a live interview with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman from Pennsylvania; Collins had a taped piece that featured an interview with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin later appeared on the show talking about the support she is receiving from Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney.

CNN’s Audie Cornish also made an appearance on the show. According to a tweet from Variety’s Brian Steinberg, Cornish will make regular appearances on the show as part of a rotating ‘family’ of regular guests.

The last block of the show was supposed to feature a mystery guest for Don Lemon – a mystery guest he wasn’t, as Lemon correctly guessed that it was Bryant Gumbel, the former Today show co-host who now hosts HBO’s Real Sports.

Lemon revealed that Gumbel inspired him and said he was “perfect on television; he never flubbed a word.”

Gumbel stayed on with the trio up until the very end of the show, as an excited and relieved Lemon tossed it to CNN Newsroom.