Don Lemon to debut new CNN show Monday

After sparking speculation about his future with CNN, Don Lemon announced Saturday his show will be rebranded "Don Lemon Tonight"

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Don Lemon made a shocking announcement Friday night, stating that last night’s episode of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” would be the last.

He later came out to clear the air about his cloudy future.

The morning after the CNN host officially revealed what changes are coming to the show, complete with a new name and design. Lemon said his show is being rebranded as “Don Lemon Tonight” and will remain in its 10 p.m. time slot. The update comes after speculation sparked about his future with the news network.

“Didn’t mean to set the internet on fire,” Lemon wrote in a Twitter post unveiling the refresh. “What I said last night was true. ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon’ is no more. I’ll be back on Monday with my newly named show ‘Don Lemon Tonight.’ See you Monday at 10pE.”

The post was accompanied with a graphic of the new show title. There’s been no word on format changes to the show.

It all appeared to be a part of a roll out effort.

Prior to the May 14 episode of “CNN Tonight,” Lemon stated on his Twitter page that he had an announcement to make and for people to watch that evening’s show to find out what it was about. He alluded to his possible departure by saying “end of an era.”

READ MORE: Don Lemon slams CNN colleague Rick Santorum: ‘Horrible and insulting’

As that evening’s program concluded, he finally addressed his audience, saying, “This is the last night that will be ‘CNN Tonight With Don Lemon.’ So, I appreciate all the years of ‘CNN Tonight With Don Lemon,’ but changes are coming, and I will fill you in.”

From there, viewers began to comment on social media about Lemon’s announcement, speculating if he had been fired from CNN or was quitting his nightly post on his own. The comments got to be so profuse that Lemon had to make a new video on his social media pages to set the record straight: he will remain with CNN.

“So I got back down to my office after the show, everybody calm down,” Lemon said. “I didn’t say I was leaving CNN. I just said it was the end of an era for ‘CNN Tonight With Don Lemon.’ I’m not leaving CNN, so you will have to tune in Monday at 10 o’clock to see. That’s it. So relax. I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving.”

Lemon has been hosting “CNN Tonight” since 2014 after getting the job from CNN president Jeff Zucker, according to GQ.

READ MORE: Don Lemon compares new book to James Baldwin’s writings

In addition to his show rebranding, Lemon has already been expanding his work at the network as of late.

Just as the show was ending Friday, he introduced a re-airing of his special, “What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Anthem For The Ages,” in which he interviewed acts like Smokey Robinson, Spike Lee and Stevie Wonder to talk about the legacy of Marvin Gaye‘s classic protest song & and album, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. The special first premiered on May 9.

In fact, a video of Lemon singing “What’s Going On” on set while Wonder accompanied him on his harpeji went viral on social media.

In addition, theGrio reported that Lemon and his CNN counterpart and friend, Chris Cuomo, are launching a new podcast. The podcast will be an unscripted show called “The Handoff,” inspired by their banter during the nightly live transition between Cuomo’s 9 p.m. CNN program, “Cuomo Prime Time,” and “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.”

The new CNN podcast will be available on Apple Podcasts.

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