CNN brings back ‘5 Things’ from doomed streamer to Max

CNN is bringing back the video version of “5 Things,” one of the short-lived show titles from its ill-fated streamer CNN+.

“5 Things” is streaming on CNN Max, the cable network’s channel on Warner Bros. Discovery’s mega-streamer Max.

CNN says it is offering the show as a “limited run” on CNN Max Beta, with a new installment dropping each weekday morning.

The “limited run” label, which CNN also applied to the now-ended “King Charles,” suggests that the show will only be offered for a specific time period, although no end date for the “5 Things” show was given. 

It could, however, continue offering the show if this run proves successful — and to at least some extent CNN appears to be using the “limited run” tag as a way to hedge its bets for shows that it’s not sure will attract viewers. 

The fast-paced daily newscast is once again anchored by Kate Bolduan.

CNN started posting new episodes of the broadcast April 15, 2024.

Advertisement

The “5 Things” show was originally created for CNN+, a streaming service that the network operated for just under a month in 2022. 

CNN says “5 Things” was the best most watched and most successful show despite the streamer’s overall dismal subscriber counts, which were reportedly around 150,000 accounts at its peak. 

In the new version of “5 Things,” Bolduan appears to be sitting in front of a large monitor showing an image of the former “5 Things” set. The original version of the show was produced from Studio 21W, a small space inside CNN’s Hudson Yard’s studios equipped with video walls and LED floors. 

Bolduan previously stood for most of the show, which also made use of the LED floors and walls to showing its distinctive, color-coded graphics.

The new version of the show uses the standard CNN insert graphics instead of the custom-designed lower thirds, but still makes use of the original logo and colorful transitional elements as well as matching OTS overlays.

After shuttering CNN+, the network did opt to keep “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” featuring former Fox anchor Chris Wallace interviewing notable personalities and celebrities. The show continues to air on Max (originally known as HBO Max), with a weekly “best of” version of the show previously airing on CNN proper.

CNN invested millions in CNN+ only to have it shut down less than a month after its launch and WBD acquired former parent WarnerMedia.

With the exception of “Who’s Talking?” CNN didn’t transition over any CNN+ programs to either the network or Max, likely trying to distance itself from the doomed brands. Most of the shows failed to garner any significant audience in the short time period they were on CNN+, so the network likely felt there wasn’t much name recognition in keeping anything around. 

The network was also still in the early days of shifting its streaming strategy to Max, which may have affected shows that might have been considered to stick around after CNN+ closed.

The “5 Things” brand existed before the CNN+ show launched as podcast and email newsletter, both of which stuck around after CNN+ folded. CNN also offers a Spanish-language version of the podcast called “5 Cosas.”

The “5 Things” podcast is CNN Audio’s top offering and the newsletter has the most subscribers of all of CNN’s email offerings, according to the network.

Updated throughout to include confirmations from CNN as well as clarifying the status of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” and the timeline of the “5 Things” brand.

Advertisement