CNN Announces New Schedule; Includes ‘Thrilling, High-Stakes’ Bible-based Show, “The Jesus Code”

Over 40 Journalists Laid Off by CNN

Two weeks after Piers Morgan signed off CNN with another blast at the NRA, network chief Jeff Zucker announced he would fill Morgan’s timeslot with Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock, among others, and that he has given former Fox star John Walsh a CNN platform from which to hunt down most-wanted. CNN also unveiled plans to tap into the current fervor for religious programming with The Jesus Code — a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible. At its upfront presentation to advertisers today in New York, CNN also detailed plans to bring back Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe to series TV in Somebody’s Gotta Do It, and Lisa Ling (Our America With Lisa Ling) will also join CNN with an original series.

The Hunt With John Walsh, like Walsh’s long-running Fox series America’s Most Wanted, is the ultimate in interactive TV. Billed as a documentary-style, non-fiction program in which Fox’s famous hunter of bad guys will once again tell stories of ongoing criminal investigations — this time with more international focus –  in which the suspect still is on the lam. Once again Walsh will give viewers salient information to help nab the fugitive. AMW debuted on Fox in the late 80′s, ran there more than two decades which makes it Fox network’s longest-running series, and captured more than 1,200 fugitives. Fox announced in 2011 it was pulling the plug on the show as a weekly series; it continued as infrequent specials, then got picked up briefly by Lifetime. In 2011, Fox News Channel confirmed to the AP that chairman Roger Ailes had been in talks with Walsh about bringing the show to Fox News, but nothing came of that, while Walsh told the AP, “I want to catch bad guys and find missing children—and we’re not done.”AMW’s rabid fan base had shrunk by the time Fox cut it loose, to about 5 million viewers. The Lifetime experiment produced far fewer viewers.

The Jesus Code will explore how Jesus could have left almost no trace behind, CNN announced today, through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

CNN’s latest primetime lineup will begin with Erin Burnett Outfront at 7 PM ET, followed by Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 PM ET. The 9 PM ET hour will be the new home of CNN’s Original Series, CNN Films and the network’s in-house produced documentaries. At 10 PM, ET CNN will debut a one-hour news program called CNN Tonight, a live hour of the day’s biggest stories, with rotating hosts anchoring the program. Here’s a look at CNN’s new original series:

Mike Rowe’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It brings viewers face to face with men and women who march to the beat of a different drum. In each episode, Rowe visits unique individuals and joins them in their respective undertakings, paying tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics – people who simply have to do it. This show is about passion, purpose, and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand. (Produced by Pilgrim Studios)

In a new documentary series for CNN, award-winning journalist and author Lisa Ling takes her audience on a gritty, breathtaking journey to far corners of America, immersing herself in sub-cultures that are unusual, bizarre and sometimes dangerous. Each episode delves into an alternative sect of everyday life, giving viewers an inside look at some of America’s most unconventional segments of society. (Produced by part2pictures)

The Hunt with John Walsh, a documentary-style, non-fiction program will take advantage of Walsh’s unique statue and perspective in television journalism and will tell stories of ongoing international criminal investigations in which the suspect is a fugitive at large. Through interviews with victims, loved ones and law enforcement and the exploration of new leads, The Hunt will provide the public with salient information to help in the fugitive’s apprehension. (Produced by Zero Point Zero Productions)

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics. (Produced by Nutopia Productions)

Deadline Hollywood

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