MSNBC Revamps Prime


MSNBC is changing its primetime schedule to include more long-form programming, and, to make room, it has cancelled two shows and is moving the anchors into new roles. Rita Cosby is losing her 10 p.m. show, Rita Cosby Live & Direct, and will now be the primary anchor of MSNBC Investigates, airing in the 10 and 11 p.m. time slots. She will also head an specials unit. The network is also dumping Tucker Carlson's 11 p.m. show and moving it to the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. hours.

These are the first big moves made by new MSNBC General Manager Dan Abrams, a former network host and NBC's chief legal correspondent. Abram's old show, the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. legal-themed Abrams Report, has also been cancelled.

"MSNBC has made tremendous strides in key primetime hours," Abrams said in a statement. "These adjustments to our primetime schedule will continue to propel our momentum as we concentrate on our strengths and continue to serve our viewers with the right mix of programming."

MSNBC's new documentary programming will be led by Scott Hooker, a 10-year network veteran, and newly named VP of Long Form Programming Michael Rubin. The new lineup debuts July 10.

The schedule moves are the latest attempts by MSNBC to catch up to its cable news rivals, CNN and top-rated Fox News. MSNBC has improved ratings in a few time slots, such as Hardball With Chris Matthews at 7 p.m. and Keith Olbermann's 8 p.m. newscast, Countdown.