CNN is launching a new show called King Charles this year, but it has nothing to do with the British monarch. Instead, the weekly primetime series will have journalist Gayle King and basketball veteran Charles Barkley bringing “unique perspectives” to the cable news channel.
King and Barkley announced the new show on TNT, another Warner Bros. Discovery channel, during the NBA playoff coverage on Saturday, April 22.
“What I think is so great for the both of us is that it’s live TV,” King said. “And to me, live TV is like working without a net. So whatever happens, happens. I like that.”
King also promised “a good conversation without tearing each other down” on King Charles. Barkley, meanwhile, said that the show would cover current-day issues without a political slant. “We don’t want to say, ‘We’re a liberal, we’re conservative, Republican, Democrat’ — that’s one of the things that’s already ruined television in general,” he explained.
Coming this fall, King Charles with Gayle King and Charles Barkley will air weekly on CNN in primetime running into 2024. Hear Gayle and Charles talk about their new show on @NBAonTNT. pic.twitter.com/ZMqYXdtYBw
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) April 22, 2023
In a memo to colleagues, CNN CEO Chris Licht said he expects the show to air in a primetime time slot “beginning this fall and running into 2024.”
“This show will be an exciting new way we are delivering culturally relevant programming and unique perspectives to our audience, from two incredibly dynamic personalities,” Licht added.
Barkley, who played 16 seasons in the NBA, is already a Warner Bros. Discovery employee, as co-host of NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA. “King Charles exemplifies the one-team, one-company mentality, with Charles playing double duty at CNN and in his role at WBD Sports,” Licht wrote in the memo.
King, meanwhile, is coming from the rival Paramount Global corporation, for which she anchors CBS Mornings. According to Variety, CBS News gave King the green light to co-host King Charles while still continuing her CBS Mornings work, likely because her increased visibility is good for business.
Licht cheekily responded to rumors of a King-Barkley series on Thursday, April 20, at a Paley Center event in New York. “Wouldn’t that be a fun show to watch? Wouldn’t you watch that show?” he said at the time, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I would watch that, no matter what network it was on.”
King Charles, Series Premiere, Fall 2023, CNN