The anchors, who typically hold forth Monday through Friday, are going to do various shows this evening as part of the networks’ coverage in advance of the 2018 midterm elections, offering yet another sign of how viewer interest in the event is pressing the nation’s news outlets to expand their coverage of it.
MSNBC plans to air an hour of pre-election coverage anchored by Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow,with Steve Kornacki, starting at 9 p.m. Fox News will air a special live broadcast of “The Five” from an outdoor venue near the network’s New York headquarters called “Fox Square” at 5 p.m. The show’s regular hosts include Dana Perino, Juan Williams, Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Watters. Three hours later, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will co-anchor an election special. CNN will air Wolf Blitzer between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. today, with Cooper anchoring 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by Chris Cuomo at 9 p.m. and Don Lemon at 10.
News junkies seem to be drawn to this moment. CBS, NBC and ABC have already expanded their coverage of the elections to three hours of primetime from two. And many of the news outlets’ streaming-video operations — including NBC News’ Signal, ABC News ABC News Live and CBS News’ CBSN — are slated to begin election-related programming on Tuesday in the late afternoon or early evening. CNN and CBSN are slated to begin at 5 p.m. that day, while NBC News Signal will offer a preview show to the network’s primetime coverage with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle at 7 p.m.
MSNBC even pre-empted Saturday programming, with four hours of “The Vote: America’s Future,” anchored by Joy Reid at 6 p.m, Ari Melber at 7p.m., Stephanie Ruhle at 8 p.m. and Lawrence O’Donnell at 9 p.m.
It’s not the first time one of the cable-news networks have brought weekday primetime to weekends. In early 2017, right after President Trump’s inauguration, CNN filled its Saturday schedule with its weekday programming, with a few exceptions.
TV viewers can likely expect more programs to nod to this week’s elections — and not just news shows. TBS will air two different broadcasts of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” this week — one on Monday and one on Wednesday. Bee normally does one program each week.