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Anderson Cooper Experimenting With New Panel Format For ‘AC360′

All this week, Anderson Cooper will be pulling double-duty, not only hosting “AC360″ at 8 PM, but new editions of “AC360″ at 10 PM… with an entirely different format.

The 8 PM show stays the same, but the 10 PM editions of the show will utilize a panel format through Thursday night, with Cooper serving as the host. CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin will be guests all week, as will Amy Holmes from TheBlaze. Every day there will be a different guest joining the panel as well. For Monday’s show, the guest was blogger Andrew Sullivan, a good friend of Cooper’s. Cooper, you may recall, formally “came out” as gay in a post on Sullivan’s “Daily Dish.”

CNN has been using 10 PM as a testing ground for new shows in recent weeks. First it tried out panel show “(Get To) The Point,” and then announced plans to re-run Jake Tapper’s afternoon show in the slot. The Boston bombing changed coverage around, but now the channel is back to experimenting.

One thing seems certain: the 10 PM re-run of “AC360″ will not be sticking around much longer. Whether it is replaced by a new format “AC360″ or by some other program, the channel is aggressively testing out other options there.

Update: It looks like the panel format may be worth repeating. 10 PM’s “AC360″ placed first among all the cable news channels in adults 25-54, though it remained third in total viewers.

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