Just as the Casey Anthony trial did two summers ago, the George Zimmerman trial will prompt major changes to local daytime television.
Opening statements are to start at 9 a.m. Monday. Viewers will see live, wall-to-wall coverage that day on WESH-Channel 2, WKMG-Channel 6, WFTV-Channel 9 and WOFL-Channel 35. Cable channel Central Florida News 13 will continue the extensive coverage that began with jury selection. (On the national front, HLN says it will cover the opening statements live Monday.)
Here's a look at each broadcast station's plan:
WESH: When in trial coverage, the NBC affiliate will move the regular daytime schedule to its This TV channel. It's at 18.2 over the air, 466 on Bright House, 115 on Cox Cable, 223 on Comcast and 19 on CenturyLink Prism. Viewers will find "Live With Kelly and Michael," "Days of Our Lives," "Katie" and "Ellen" in their regular time slots on This TV. "Entertainment Tonight" will air at noon, and "Access Hollywood" follows at 12:30. The regular This TV lineup resumes at 4 p.m.The popular WKCF-Channel 18 lineup remains unchanged, said Jim Carter, general manager of WESH and WKCF.
"This is our plan for now as long as we're in trial coverage," Carter said.
Carter said he believes interest is high in the Zimmerman trial. "We've seen a lot of activity both on our web and our mobile app," he said. "We've had a lot of streams of the jury selection process."
WKMG: The CBS affiliate will shift its regular time daytime schedule to 6.2 over the air, 463 on Bright House and 220 on Comcast.
"There is a significant appetite for the case," news director Steve Hyvonen said. "We're going to keep going with it as long as viewers want to watch it."
He said high interest in the Zimmerman trial was reflected in ratings, web traffic and social media streams. But he added that WKMG will "constantly reassess" its plan and could adjust it.
WKMG will have anchors in the field: Matt Austin in the morning, and either Lauren Rowe or Gaard Swanson in the afternoon.
WFTV will carry the trial Monday and Tuesday for sure, then assess whether to continue wall-to-wall, the station said.
Greg Warmoth is anchoring in the field along with legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
WOFL: The Fox-owned station will carry the trial until further notice.
WOFL will move many of its most popular series over to sister station WRBW-Channel 65. The revised lineup on WRBW has "Wendy" at 11 a.m., "Judge Joe Brown" at noon, "Judge Mathis" at 1 p.m., "Dr. Phil" at 2 and 3 p.m., and "Judge Judy" at 4 and 4:30.