CNN has announced that the new version of Crossfire will debut on September 16, and that they are tweaking the current programming lineup to accommodate the show.
The program will air for 30 minutes each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. ET, taking part of Wolf Blitzer’s current timeslot. Blitzer will actually gain some air time, though, as he will also anchor the 1 p.m. hour of Newsroom.
In addition to the above changes, CNN will air AC 360 Later at 10 p.m., which will replace the repeats of AC 360 that have normally been running in that time slot. CNN bills AC 360 Later as a “provocative and informed” panel conversation that will feature a range of opinions and points-of-view from newsmakers.
At just 30 minutes, Crossfire will have to be very crisp in its execution, which could be a challenge for the long-winded Gingrich. But if the hosts prove that they can stimulate good discussions along with some fireworks and ratings, maybe CNN president Jeff Zucker will reward the program with an hour-long slot as a possible primetime lead-in. Even though CNN’s ratings have improved dramatically over the last few months, they could still use a good shot in the arm.
Zucker is crossing his fingers that Crossfire isn’t a misfire.