Court TV is back in session. The cable TV channel that once carried gavel-to-gavel live coverage of high-profile trials will be revived by a new owner, nearly a dozen years after it was shuttered by Turner Broadcasting.
Katz Networks, a division of E.W. Scripps Co., plans to revive Court TV as a digital multicast channel to be distributed by local TV stations around the country starting in May. Katz has acquired the Court TV moniker and some 100,000 hours of vintage Court TV programming from Turner, now owned by AT&T.
Vinnie Politan will return as a chief anchor of the channel, which promises 24/7 coverage of trials and legal issues. Also returning is producer John Alleva, a 15-year Court TV veteran who will oversee coverage with CNN alum Scott Tufts out of a newsroom under construction in Atlanta.
Katz has lined up station affiliates for Court TV covering 50% of U.S. TV households, including Tribune, Scripps and Univision-owned stations. It will also have some distribution via MVPDs in those markets.
The brainchild of lawyer and media entrepreneur Steven Brill, Court TV went on the air in July 1991. Turner Broadcasting acquired an interest in the channel, and bought it out entirely by 2006. Court TV was remodeled into the reality-comedy focused TruTV on Jan. 1, 2008.
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