CNN has slated at least five long-form specials for the first half of 2006, some for its CNN Presents documentary series and others for a new franchise, CNN: Special Investigations Unit. The cable news network was scheduled to announce the new programming at its Television Critics Association presentation today in Pasadena.
Already running is a five-part American Morning package on Martin Luther King, MLK: The Words that Changed a Nation, hosted by Soledad O'Brien. Next up on Jan. 20 is The War Within, a special on the July, 2005 London subway bombing hosted by Christiane Amanpour.
War marks the first show in the new CNN: Special Investigations Unit. The new franchise will run Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. with hour-long programs. They come out of the CNN Productions unit, which also produces the CNN Productions documentaries.
Other upcoming specials are Secret Iraq, a first quarter, 2007 co-production with Britain's Channel 4 in which CNN anchor John Roberts investigates Shia death squads operating within the Iraqi police force; Grady's Anatomy, a second quarter program about the doctors at Atlanta's Grady Hospital where CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an attending neurosurgeon; and Larry King: 50 Years of Pop Culture, a two-hour, second quarter special tracing King's 50 years in the industry.