With Chris Cuomo suspended, what’s happening with his key 9 p.m. hour?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

After CNN’s Chris Cuomo was suspended “indefinitely” for allegedly providing his brother, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with help for his defense of sexual misconduct claims among other alleged actions, the network has a big hole the schedule to fill.

The suspension, which was announced Nov. 30, 2021, before “Cuomo Prime Time” aired in its 9 p.m. timeslot, meant that Cuomo was not on air that night.

CNN instead aired a second hour of “Anderson Cooper 360,” a change that was picked up by at least some TV providers, effectively making the word “Cuomo” disappear from at least some schedule guides.

The network is airing a coronavirus town hall Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, though it appears this was hastily planned as some guides still show “Cuomo Prime Time” on the schedule.

The network also did not issue a press release about the event until early Dec. 1.

Schedule data is culled from a variety of sources, including the networks themselves, but not all TV provides or listings update it with the same frequency or using the same sources. Ultimately, networks can also make last minute substitutions in pretty much any manner they want no matter what the schedule says.

CNN’s own website has “Cuomo Prime Time” back on the schedule (as of this writing) Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, though it’s hard to imagine that an “indefinite” suspension is for only two shows.

The network could opt to either have someone fill in on the show under the “Cuomo” name, use a generic title for the hour instead or simply continue extending an existing program, such as “AC360” into it until its internal investigation into Chris Cuomo’s alleged actions is complete.

It could be more favorable to go with one of the latter two choices to avoid Cuomo’s name from showing up on air at all while the controversy around him and his family continues.

Losing Cuomo — even if only for an “indefinite suspension” — is a big challenge for CNN, as the 9 p.m. eastern hour is highly competitive in cable news — with “Cuomo Prime Time” going up against “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC and “Hannity” on Fox’s right leaning cable network.

Although CNN still typically trails its competitors in viewers for the hour, “Cuomo Prime Time” is often one of the networks most competitive hours.