TCA: CNN, Discovery Give Special a Double Play


CNN and Discovery are teaming up to give the news network’s upcoming eco-focused documentary Planet in Peril play on both networks.

The show will run for four hours over two nights on CNN Oct. 23 and 24 at 9 p.m., and will replay on Discovery. The reason: the show is hosted by Jeff Corwin, a marquee talent for Discovery’s Animal Planet, in addition to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

The deal for Corwin to appear in the special was arranged by the two networks months ago when Billy Campbell was still Discovery Networks President, CNN U.S. President Jon Klein told B&C in an interview. Campbell was cut during a senior executive restructure in April under new Discovery President/CEO David Zaslav. As part of the talks, Discovery agreed to the replay, he said.

It is not uncommon for one news entity to cut such a one-time deal for talent to do a project on another network. CNN’s Cooper, for example, regularly reports for CBS’s newsmagazine 60 Minutes.

Planet was shot on four continents and focuses on current environmental crises.