Back in January, CNN announced that Rachel Nichols had left ESPN for Turner Broadcasting. Her main deal was to be with CNN and in the eight months since she had joined Turner, she had been seen only a handful of times on the network with her debut being a Bleacher Report-branded Super Bowl special co-hosted with Ernie Johnson. Since then, most of her appearances had been for Turner Sports on the NCAA Tournament and the NBA playoffs.
Today, CNN announced that Rachel will get her own weekly show on the network starting in Septemer. It will air Friday nights at 10:30 ET and be titled, "Rachel Nichols: Unguarded." We haven't heard much about the show, but one can deduce it will feature interviews, athlete profiles and a few in-depth stories. In addition, we can expect her to report live from big events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament, NBA Playoffs and the World Series.
CNN has this promo for the new show that is part of a series of new fall programming for the network.
This is CNN's first foray into a regular sports series since the old Sports Tonight was taken off the network in 2001. And while we don't expect a return to the old days when CNN had sports shows scheduled throughout late night and the weekends, having one show is certainly better than none at all and it's a great improvement over Wolf Blitzer magically appearing on screen.
Nichols was lured from ESPN by CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, the same man responsible for NBC's primetime pitfall and the Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno Tonight Show disaster. Here's hoping Rachel gets more support for her show from Zucker than Conan did as host of the Tonight Show.