Ashleigh Banfield is leaving Court TV and joining WGN America as the host of her own news and talk show, “Banfield,” which will air at 10 p.m. Banfield says “Banfield” is a “reboot” of “Larry King Live.”
On Tuesday, Banfield told TheWrap she is “winding down production with Court TV,” where she has already stopped doing the live broadcast weeknights. Her magazine show, “Judgment with Ashleigh Banfield,” will finish out the current season of 48 episodes, she said.
There will not be a second season of “Judgment with Ashleigh Banfield” as Banfield’s WGN America contract comes with an exclusivity clause.
The news comes about as WGN America (WGNA) is “expanding its programming lineup in the coming weeks with additional news, talk and current events shows that complement ‘NewsNation,’ the country’s only live nightly primetime national newscast,” the cable channel said on Tuesday.
Owned by Nexstar Media Group, WGNA is currently available in 75 million homes. The cable channel will roll out in approximately 7 million additional homes thanks to a new distribution deal with Hulu, YouTube TV and fuboTV.
“As WGN America expands its programming and distribution in 2021, Ashleigh’s national appeal, network experience, and unbiased approach to reporting news will help us reach new viewers seeking balance in news reporting and talk programming that offers several points of view,” said Sean Compton, the president of networks at Nexstar Media Group. “Ashleigh is one of the most acclaimed, award-winning anchors in television news, reporting from across the country and around the globe, with a reputation for fairness and integrity. We are excited to add ‘Banfield’ to our growing lineup of news programming on WGN America.”
Banfield (re)joined the 2019-relaunched Court TV as a “special contributor” last spring. She was a member of the original Court TV’s original lineup.
Prior to rejoining Court TV (the second time), Banfield anchored CNN’s “Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield” and HLN’s “Primetime Justice With Ashleigh Banfield.” She also hosted a “Live PD” spin-off, “Live Rescue,” on A&E. Banfield departed HLN, CNN’s sister network, in 2018 along with Carol Costello and Michaela Pereira.
“What a thrill it is to be part of a team driving straight down the center lane,” Banfield added in a statement of her own. “We’ve reached a time where Americans are hungry for facts without bias, news without spin, and guests from all perspectives. I can’t wait to go head-to-head with America’s top newsmakers and celebrities in a talk format that I’ve longed for since Larry King! It’s time to put in-depth interviews back on the cable news landscape.”
The original Court TV signed off in 2008 but returned in 2019. Before then, it ran for more than 20 years and gained mainstream attention for providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O.J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers, and Casey Anthony murder trials.