EW comes to the small screen, teaming up with CNN to air a weekly newsmagazine program, NewsStand: CNN & Entertainment Weekly

The idea of a television show based on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY is hardly a new one; over the years, any number of people have approached us about adapting our magazine for the tube. But until recently, we’d always begged off, feeling either the timing or the media venue wasn’t quite right for us. Then Richard N. Kaplan, president of CNN/U.S., the flagship U.S. broadcast news network of the CNN News Group, made us an offer we could not refuse.

Kaplan, a highly distinguished television-news veteran and former executive producer of World News Tonight With Peter Jennings and PrimeTime Live, came to us with a proposal for a show that seemed so in tune with what our readers have come to expect of EW — and with what we believe potential viewers will spark to — we just had to agree to it. So, beginning Thursday, June 11, at 10 p.m. (ET), plan on adding the hour-long newsmagazine NewsStand: CNN & Entertainment Weekly to your weekly viewing menu. (And earlier that same week, look for NewsStand: CNN & Time and NewsStand: CNN & Fortune, programs modeled after our sister Time Inc. magazines.)

”We intend to fill the void that exists in hard-hitting entertainment industry reporting on television with a program that lives up to the spirit of EW,” says Kaplan, who promises the show will feature at least two long-form in-depth pieces each week, as well as televised translations of some of the magazine’s popular regular departments, including Jim Mullen’s Hot Sheet, Winners and Losers of the Week, and Encore. In addition, the magazine’s critics and editors will appear regularly, reviewing the latest movies, TV shows, books, videos, and CDs, as well as conducting roundtable discussions on developing trends and current events.

Heading the program’s team of crack entertainment reporters will be veteran broadcast journalists Judd Rose and Willow Bay. ”The show won’t be a carbon copy of the magazine,” says Rose, but ”we’ve made every effort to keep the kind of tone and writing and edge of EW while pursuing different stories and angles.”

Needless to say, we’re tremendously jazzed about the premiere of NewsStand: CNN & Entertainment Weekly, and we hope that each and every regular EW reader will tune in. Which brings us to the $64,000 question: Are we nervous about our show being slotted opposite a certain top-rated hospital drama? To some degree. But even if EW does not place ER on the critical list, we are confident that you — the EW tried-and-tested believer — will put the weekly entertainment program high on your viewing list. See you at 10 o’clock, Thursday night.