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CNN’s ‘King Charles’ Teams Gayle King with Charles Barkley for New Primetime Series Starting Tonight | WATCH

Gayle King - Charles Barkley - Getty
Gayle King – Charles Barkley – Getty

*CNN may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of Charles Barkley, but the network is putting stock on the NBA legend and Gayle King to shake up things for the better. 

Variety reports the pair will co-anchor a new one-hour weekly limited-run series called “King Charles.” According to Amy Entelis, CNN’s executive vice president for talent and content development, the show offers a twist to the traditional news show format. 

“‘King Charles’ is different than anything we have on CNN’s lineup,” Entelis said in responses to questions provided by email. “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.”  

The arrival of “King Charles” comes amid a time when cable news networks are creatively exploring new ways to keep and attract viewers who are moving toward on-demand streaming video. The creation of the show stemmed during the tenure of former CNN CEO Chris Licht. During his time at the network, Licht put a bit of emphasis on looking for non-traditional personalities to add perspective and color to the network’s programming.  

Variety notes the impact of the current landscape with advertisers who fear being called out for sponsoring opinioned hosts after years of being comfortable with the traditional news show format.  

In recent months, CNN has experienced a noticeable drop in viewers after the 2020 election as well as what Variety calls “a frenzy of scheduling and programming moves under a previous management regime. Despite this, the news network stated its third quarter saw a 5% rise in its overall primetime audience. 

With “King Charles,” CNN has its eyes on new opportunities to expand its audience as the run-up to a presidential election usually draws new viewers. With competitors launching new streaming venues of their own, the network is making “King Charles” available on Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s flagship streaming hub. 

In a promo for the new show, Barkley and King’s well-known status is highlighted in the fact that “two broadcast titans are coming to CNN.” The pair are featured on set and talking to in-house personalities such as John King and Audie Cornish.  

“This is our unfiltered take on the biggest stories of the day,” says King, as Barkley tells his co-anchor in an aside “We’re tired of the B.S.!” 

Gayle King - Charles Barkley - Getty
Gayle King – Charles Barkley – Getty

Despite her new program, King will continue as co-host of “CBS Mornings.” Like his co-anchor, Barkley will maintain his day job as an analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”  

Although CNN expects “King Charles” to be a “regular staple” in its programming, Entelis, mentioned that breaking news as it happens will be made space for. If “King Charles” proves successful after its limited-run series debut, the executive left the door open, being “open to doing more shows like this in the future.”  

“King Charles,” featuring Charles Barkley and Gayle King, will air at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesdays, starting tonight, Nov. 29, on CNN.

Note: Due to a Republican primary debate, the show’s Dec. 6 episode will air at 9 p.m. ET.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB:  Gayle King ‘Expects’ Co-Host Charles Barkley to ‘Keep His Mouth Shut’ About Show Secrets

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