Schiavo: King Hosts “National Conversation” On CNN; And Other Primetime Plans

By Brian 

On Saturday, the “light bulb” went off in CNN chief Jon Klein’s head: The network should present a “national conversation” after Terri Schiavo’s death.

Hosted by Larry King, “Life and Death: America Speaks Out” airs tonight from 8 to 11pm.

“We started thinking about what we could do,” Klein told TVNewser today. “We thought about what CNN’s role in this has been…We’re such a natural forum for a national conversation.”

Klein said the special will discuss religion, politics, medicine, law — some of the issues that have been under-covered as the emotional saga unfolded. CNN hopes to serve as a “meeting place,” where “viewers can come and express all the conflicting emotions that exist” about the case.

Paula Zahn will report live from Terri’s hometown, while Anderson Cooper will host from outside the hospice in Florida. Aaron Brown will be on Pope watch.

More primetime Schiavo coverage:

> MSNBC will be live until 2am with continuing coverage. Dan Abrams will host “Terri Schiavo: The Impact” from 9 to 10pm, then Joe Scarborough will anchor two hours of coverage. Dan will be back live from midnight until 2am…

> FNC has packaged its primetime as a three-hour block of Schiavo coverage. The Fox Fan e-mail and home page usually list individual shows, but today it just lists primetime as “Terri Schiavo’s Death.”