HLN joins the list of cable channel to dive in the sea of network wanting to join crowded late night talk/variety show game. The channel is currently rebranding itself and has shot a pilot episode for the late night show “Weekly Mashup.” The new late night show will be hosted by KIIS D.J. Chuey Martinez, according to a source familiar with the project.
“Weekly Mashup” is like any other late night shows as it have celebrity guests and musical acts, but it differs in how it uses social media. The idea here is that people that post some cool post on their social media account will appear on the show.
“None of [the competitors] are planning what we are planning, which is that we are here for you, and we are going to put you on TV,” HLN chief Albie Hecht told Capital in February.
Lately, Late night become the hottest day part on TV because of the fact that it have to compete with almost every other shows. As if, competing with another late night show is not hard enough, now even those niche shows like “Watch What Happens Live,” “The Daily Show” and “Chelsea Lately.” Then there are the after-shows, like AMC's “Talking Dead” or Discovery’s “Naked After Dark,” which helps the rating of certain TV shows.
HLN wasn’t the first one to try this as its sister’s channel CNN has pursued late night programming in the past, and some are saying that it is looking at 11 p.m. as a possible new timeslot for original programming. Yet, there is a chance that HLN could beat it to the punch.
HLN will be using some traditional TV formats for inspirations in hopes of rebranding its network. Those formats include travel shows, docu-series and real estate shows, in addition to the previously announced slate of game shows, panel shows and cartoons.
The strategy is to combine existing formats that work, and a social media twist, as with “Weekly Mashup,” or take news formats that work (like the panel show) and make it social media-centric, as with “Videocracy,” which it announced in February.
CNN Worldwide is about to hold an upfront presentation in mid-April, pitching media buyers and the press its new slate of programming. HLN will be among the channels that will present something at the event, in which they plan to debut its social media programming slate for buyers.
Expect to see other channel company doing some drastic moves to capture some audience this year.