Katz Networks Is Rebooting Court TV

It's expected to launch in May 2019

Court TV will come back in 2019. - Credit by Court TV
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It’s been the year of revivals and reboots, and as it comes to a close, there’s another to add to that list. This time a network, Court TV, is expected to come back on air next year.

Katz Networks is relaunching the network as part of The E.W. Scripps Company, which acquired Court TV’s intellectual property, including its trademark, website and 100,000 hours of original content from Turner Broadcasting.

The new Court TV will make its debut in May, will run 24 hours a day, with coverage and analysis from trials, every day of the week and will be available for cable, satellite, over-the-air and over-the-top carriage.

“Today, while consumer interest in the real-life drama of true-crime programming is at an all-time high, there is no dedicated daily court coverage on television,” said Jonathan Katz, president and CEO of Katz Networks, in a prepared statement. “We expect the new Court TV to fill that void on cable, satellite, over-the-air and over-the-top.”

After more than 20 years of highlighting court cases that included O.J. Simpson and the Menendez brothers, Turner Broadcasting effectively ended the channel in 2008 when it expanded programming on the network to include shows outside of court cases under a rebranding to truTV.

Hours and hours of footage from more than 1,000 trials previously recorded will be used to create new programming and specials to broadcast.

Old fans will recognize a familiar face in Vinnie Politan, who served as the original Court TV anchor and will return as lead anchor. Meanwhile, former Court TV and CNN producers John Alleva and Scott Tufts will serve as vice presidents and managing editors.

The rebooted Court TV has signed agreements with major local TV station owners, including Tribune, Scripps and Univision, to offer over-the-air distribution. The agreements will allow the new network to reach more than 50 percent of U.S. television households at launch, the company claimed.

Those markets will include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago (Tribune Broadcasting), Tampa, Detroit, Cleveland (Scripps) as well as San Antonio, Albuquerque, N.M. and Bakersfield, Calif. (Univision).

“Scripps and Katz look forward to reestablishing Court TV’s important legacy of providing Americans with transparency into the U.S. courts system and fulfilling our company mission of journalism and public service,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps, in a prepared statement. “We believe today’s TV audiences will be drawn to the network, leading to the same strong revenue growth and return on investment the other Katz networks have delivered.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.