Anderson Cooper might go the talk show route

CNN is recruiting an audience for experimental shows

Ratings-challenged CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is about to experiment with a live studio audience.

The network is recruiting a crowd for two shows that will serve as a testing ground for a potential new primetime talk format.

CNN is calling the trial episodes "specials" in case the project doesn't make it to the series stage. The network would only confirm the format will be "conversational."

This isn't the first time news nets have played around with studio audiences. When "Primetime Live" first went on the air on ABC in 1989, it used a studio audience. And CBS News experimented with a studio audience on "The Morning Program" in 1987. CNN's own "Talkback Live" aired for many years starting in 1994. Cooper's producers reportedly try about a dozen test shows a year searching for new format tweaks for the host.

The specials will be taped April 15 and 22, but no air date has been set.
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