Way back when in 1982, CNN decided that there was a need for a 7×24 news channel that gave viewers the news in 30 minute bites around the clock. This was pretty radical thinking back in the day. The channel, Headline News Network (HN), basically gave the viewer a 30 minute show that repeated every half hour. So you could watch the show any time of day and get caught up on the news around the world, rather than having to catch the news at 6:00 p.m. It was a novel concept and was pretty successful.
Of course, over time, you must change or die. So HN changed. It came up with a format that was about 15 minutes of news, a couple minutes of weather, a couple minutes of sports, a “Hollywood Minute” and it finished with a human interest story of some type. Around 2005 due to the proliferation of news available everywhere, the channel had to change. I don’t believe the channel even shows a daily news show anymore. If it does, I have no idea when it does. The format they settled on was “tabloid”-like “reporting” focusing on entertainment and crime reporting.
What I have noticed lately is that they specialize in providing “wall-to-wall” coverage of court cases. Recently they ran the Jody Arias case for weeks. I have to admit I do not know who Jody is or what she did specifically (I know it was murder). Now they are running the Zimmerman case. They intersperse court “action” with “expert” analysis. I guess it is like watching a sporting event. The only reason I know it is on TV is because someone almost always has it on at the Fitness Center I go to. I am trying to figure out who possibly watches this stuff. Who could possibly find hours of watching boring court proceedings – with the added benefit of some expert telling you who blew their testimony and what legal procedure is being invoked?
Perhaps the same people who like Judge Judy or the People’s Court are watching. Maybe it our insatiable desire for reality. I don’t know but I don’t get it. Watching days on end of a trial for ten hours a day is a waste of time in my opinion. But someone must be watching. The American public never ceases to amaze me.