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CourtTV/truTV

HLN Slates Nightly Show on Jodi Arias Trial

The obsession with the Jodi Arias trial continues. This week, HLN will premiere “After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial,” a nightly show with a live studio audience. The program premieres Wednesday and will run Monday-Thursday for the duration of the trial.

The program launch comes on the heels of Turner Broadcasting’s TruTV scaling In Session coverage back to two hours a day, a move which has sparked criticism in the middle of the Arias trial. HLN anchor Vinnie Politan will anchor the show and In Session on TruTV correspondents Jean Casarez and Beth Karas will contribute.

Politan will be joined by HLN’s Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Ryan Smith and Drew Pinsky, who will weigh the accusations and evidence of the day. The 12-person audience will act as “jurors” and will render a verdict each night.

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People Are Not Happy That ‘In Session’ Has Been Cut During Jodi Arias trial

Today is the day that TruTV trimmed its dayside court coverage In Session down to two hours a day from six hours a day. TruTV laid off a number of staffers as a result of the cutback. In its place the network is airing some acquired series, as well as replays of primetime originals like “Lizard Lick Towing.”

The timing of the move couldn’t have been worse for TruTV. While In Session typically did alright in the Nielsen Ratings, right now the “trial of the year” is happening in the Jodi Arias case, and loyal viewers have been glued to their TVs. In Session has been averaging around a half million viewers as a result.

With little warning, regular viewers suddenly had four fewer hours of coverage, and they took to the TruTV and In Session Facebook pages to vent. The comments mirror those that have been flooding into the TVNewser tip box since the change this morning:
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truTV Sees Ratings Spike During Sandusky Trial

The just-concluded trial of Jerry Sandusky led to a ratings spike for truTV, particularly among younger viewers. InSession, the network’s 9am-3pmET programming, averaged 84,000 A25-54 viewers from June 11-22, an increase of +95% over the previous four weeks.

Several individual hours of programming saw triple-digit increases in the demographic: the 1oamET hour was up +108% compared to the previous four weeks, while the 11amET and 2pmET hour were up +107% and +123%, respectively.

Trial coverage was anchored by Vinnie Politan, Christi Paul and Ryan Smith. Additionally, correspondents Jean Casarez and Beth Karas offered joint coverage from the courthouse in Bellafonte, PA — the pair traded off so one was always on air, the other was always in court. They were aided by two Atlanta-based production teams. Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child sex abuse Friday.

TruTV’s Vinnie Politan Has an Open Mic Moment

TruTV “In Session” anchor Vinnie Politan had an open mic moment Tuesday. While covering the high-profile Casey Anthony trial, his microphone stayed hot when the cameras were focusing on the action in the courtroom, and he was heard to say of Anthony “The only thing you are going to see are her boobs sticking out.”

The Daily Mail caught the mistake, and found video of the comment:

The Anthony trial has been taking up a large chunk of coverage on two Turner networks, TruTV and HLN. In the case of HLN, it has led to significant ratings increases.

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HLN’s Saturday night Crimetime

HLN has shaken up its weekend primetime.

For years, the network formerly known as Headline News, kept the weekend primetime consistent with weekday programs: Jane Velez-Mitchell at 7pmET, Nancy Grace at 8, and Joy Behar at 9.

But beginning with this past Saturday night, the network debuted HLN Mysteries. The crime block, which aired from 7pmET to 6amET Sunday morning, features crime documentaries including “Body of Evidence: From the case files of Dayle Hinman” and “The Investigators”. These are re-purposed programs from sister channel truTV.

MSNBC has proven over the past few years that crime programming works in weekend prime. In fact, MSNBC regularly wins Saturday and Sunday nights in younger viewers with the Lockup prison documentary series.

In 2006 Time Warner bought the 50% of CourtTV it didn’t own, then renamed the network truTV on Jan. 1, 2008. The network’s “InSession” live court programming was moved from New York to Atlanta in 2009 and co-located with HLN.

Former Court TV Employees Plan Reunion

Tomorrow in New York City at the offices of Goldman McCormick PR, former employees of Court TV will gather for an unofficial reunion.

Time Warner acquired the network in 2006, and has since rebranded it as TruTV, replacing much of the legal news coverage with programs like ” Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “Southern Fried Stings” and “Operation Repo.”

From the invite:

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TruTV’s Jean Casarez on How She Got an Inside Look at Joran van der Sloot’s Jail Cell

Jean Casarez, truTV “In Session” correspondent, got a look inside the Peruvian jail cell that alleged murderer Joran van der Sloot will remain in during his trial. TVNewser spoke to Casarez about the report from Peru between live hits for CNN and HLN today.

She attributes the prison’s invitation to “old fashioned journalism and talking to sources” explaining that they had put in the request for a tour soon after arriving in the region. “One reason they wanted us to come in is that they focus on rehabilitation,” she told us. “They felt Castro Castro had been sensationalized by the world people and wanted everyone to know that its not what people think it is.”

The prison has become the latest hot topic for newsers on the van der Sloot beat. ABC News’ John Quinones also went inside Castro Castro for “Good Morning America.” (Video after the jump)

“It was extremely high security for us to get in: electronic fingerprints, pictures, passports, a full body scanner.” Casarez told us. She said she was given considerable access by the prison and toured van der Sloot’s cell while guards moved him to another building.

Casarez has been in Peru for two weeks, arriving shortly after van der Sloot arrived in Lima. “It’s really an amazing opportunity to be down here,” she told us. “People have been very forthcoming with information that we’ve been able to impart to the world.”

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Gavel Drops on “In Session” NY

After 18 years in New York, at 3pm today the lights went out at Court TV / In Session. So what now? “The crew plans to go out in style – at the bar across the street of course,” writes a tipster. “In Session” trial coverage will be produced by truTV’s sister network HLN in Atlanta beginning Monday.

Vinnie Politan Returns to TV as Host of “In Session”

Politan_11.6.jpgWith next Friday marking the final day of production of truTV’s “In Session” programming from New York, the network has announced new anchors who will debut from CNN headquarters in Atlanta the following Monday. Among the new hosts is a familiar name: Vinnie Politan. A long-time CourtTV and truTV host, Politan left the network in March, 2008.

The other “In Session” host is Ryan Smith who has appeared as a legal commentator on many networks. He specializes in entertainment law and hosted a show on BET called “My Two Cents.”

The new “In Session” will feature reports from Beth Karas, who has been with the network since 1994.

In Session has also named three contributors: Mike Brooks, who will be the network’s law enforcement analyst, Midwin Charles and Sunny Hostin.

truTV remains based in New York but the daytime production “In Session,” which airs from 9amET-3pmET is shifting from studios in New York to studios in Atlanta. The production team in Atlanta is part of HLN.

truTV’s ‘In Session’ Ready To Sign Off in New York

truTV_11.3.giftruTV, formerly known as CourtTV when it specialized in gavel-to-gavel trial coverage, is shutting down the New York offices for its daytime “In Session” programming. The move to Atlanta, first reported by TVNewser in June, will take place next week with the final day of “In Session” coverage from New York airing Friday, Nov. 13. On Monday, Nov. 16 “In Session” will originate from Atlanta’s CNN Center.

TVNewser hears there will be a wrap party for employees tonight near truTV’s headquarters on Manhattan’s east side.

The number of positions eliminated in New York is around 100, with up to 70 jobs created in Atlanta. Ten field staffers will be kept on for trial coverage including four reporter/lawyers and six producers.

Time Warner bought the 50% of CourtTV it didn’t own in 2006. The network was renamed truTV on Jan. 1, 2008.

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