HLN Cancels ‘Showbiz Tonight’ As Part of Transformation of Network

Albie Hecht HLN
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

HLN has canceled “Showbiz Tonight,” the latest  shuffle at the Time Warner-owned cable outlet since the arrival of former Viacom entertainment programmer Albie Hecht.

“I know we are all working hard to grow the brand and take HLN to the next level.” said Hecht in a memo to staffers reviewed by Variety. “Of course, during our evolution, some changes will be difficult. This is one of the toughest.”

“Showbiz Tonight” has been a mainstay of HLN’s programming since 2005, when the show debuted with former MTV VJ Karen Bryant at the helm. After her departure in 2006, A.J. Hammer has anchored the show. Hammer is expected to stay with the network, Hecht said in the memo. Less than a dozen staffers are said to be involved, according to a person familiar with the situation.

News of the cancellation was reported previously by TVNewser.

HLN is expected to continue to rework its programming and brand. Under Hecht, who came aboard as its leader in September of last year. Best known, perhaps, for gavel-to-gavel coverage of tabloid-y court trials and as the primetime roost for hosts like Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, HLN’s programming stance has been in flux . Under Hecht’s supervision,   the network in November canceled three programs and laid off an unspecified number of employees. In December he brought aboard several senior programming executives with experience at places like BET, Spike and Nickelodeon.

Ironically, ‘Showbiz’ was being used to fill HLN’s schedule in the wake of other cancellations. When HLN canceled “Raising America,” “Now In America” and “Evening Express,” it used a re-airing of “Showbiz” to fill part of its morning schedule.

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  1. Karen says:

    I loved Showbiz and have been watching it for several years.. I think it was a dumb move personally.

  2. heather brown says:

    I won’t be watching HLN anymore Sad to say but I don’t like the changes made. What would you do has been playing the same show over and over I can;t stand to watch them anymore. I say get rid of Nancy Grace For in her mind you are guilty until proven innocent I enjoyed Vinny Jane and Jean Casarous I am sick of all the repeats No more HLN for me

  3. Susan says:

    I hate the changes that have been made to HLN since Hecht came onboard. I barely watch it any more. Now the programming seems to consist of rejects from other networks, such as, “What Would You Do?” There seems to be no direction. I don’t know why they kept the three of the remaining evening shows that all report on the same stories. I miss the crew from Evening Express and now will miss AJ Hammer. I say get rid of Hecht.

  4. Lynn says:

    BRING BACK COURT TV, PLEASE!!!

  5. Ken says:

    Thank God they’re yanking this silly vapid show off the air. “Showbiz Tonight” made “Entertainment Tonight” look like “PBS Newshour” by comparison.

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