5 Shows That Could Have Saved CNN's Paid Subscription Service
The modern subscription video business is a cut-throat one. At this point, pretty much any channel or video producer with three cameras to rub together has entered the fray to battle over a couple dollars of the average consumer’s monthly entertainment budget. The latest channel to enter the ring was CNN, with their new premium video service, CNN+. It is also the latest channel to leave the ring in a thoroughly bloodied and pulped state.
I don’t think the failure of CNN+ is that surprising to most people, but the sheer SPEED in which it failed is pretty impressive. The service lasted a month before being shut down due to what experts would call “aggressive and complete apathy.” To fail that fast in a business climate that applauds companies that lose money for years is like starting a marathon, and then within the first 300 feet, just straight up exploding like a tangerine under an SUV wheel.
If I had to pinpoint what CNN could have done better to attract viewers, I would say that they erroneously convinced themselves that what people need right now, during a time of global doomsaying and anxiety, was MORE news. That’s like trying to sell fireworks in a burn ward.
Instead, I’ve come up with some show ideas that could have kept the streaming service going a little bit longer.
Gloves Off follows the proven CNN formula of a roundtable discussion, with one important distinction: physical challenges are allowed to be issued by arguing participants, and they must be answered. Finally, the endless ideological back-and-forth of these shows is given an actual resolution and climax. The two adversaries are led to the Colosseum of Ideas, where they’re free to choose from weapons. The fight ends when one combatant agrees they are wrong, or dies.
SOUR ONES w/ DON LEMON
Inspired by but legally distinct from hit interview program “Hot Ones”, a guest is forced to defend their political stances while piling more and more Mega Warheads into their mouth. If the puckering participant is able to best the gauntlet of sour candy, and eat a whole lemon, Don Lemon will shake their hand and agree they made some good points.
A mild-mannered news anchor discovers that he contains multiple personalities inside him, including that of an antifa super-soldier who owes a debt to the ghost of Karl Marx. It quickly becomes a race against time to find the ancient tomb of the Founding Fathers in order to free the spirit of democracy from the small stone statue it has been imprisoned in.
Anderson Cooper, the last remaining warrior of the legendary Vanderbilt creed, finds himself in the care of the only newborn child in America who has not been indoctrinated with political beliefs. It is now his mission to keep this child’s delicate mind fair and balanced, as CNN’s credo demands. Despite the pursuit of the child by political operatives and the YouTube algorithm looking to groom them as a future Party Darling.
SANJAY GUPTA, PIMPLE POPPER
Sorry Sanjay, this is what you do know. Grab one of those weird little metal loops and get ready to forcefully desterilize an operating room.
CNN, my e-mail is available on request.