CNN’s Jeff Zucker Says His Network Might Make Scripted Films

“The CNN brand has to evolve,” the network president says

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said Monday the network will consider making scripted feature films as it seeks to diversify its content.

Zucker spoke at a Los Angeles luncheon for CNN Films, the network’s label for documentaries. CNN Films announced a partnership with RADiUS-TWC on a documentary about campus rape, to be produced and directed by “The Invisible War’s” Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.

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Asked if CNN is also interested in producing scripted movies, Zucker said, “We have looked at that; thus far, we’re not doing that, but I’m not opposed to it. We have no imminent plans but it might be a logical extension in the next year of so.”

Under Zucker, CNN has ventured from breaking news and talk formats into series including “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” with Mike Rowe. The network also has recently initiated layoffs and canceled several shows.

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“The CNN brand has to evolve,” Zucker said, “so a scripted project or two, I would not be opposed to that.”

The campus sex crimes documentary from the Academy Award-nominated Dick and Ziering will have parallels with their influential military documentary, including survivor stories and institutional issues.

It’s expected to be released in theaters in 2015 and air later in the year on CNN.