BookTV's After Words, a new hour-long author interview show that debuted January 2, is the first of what the network hopes will be more original programming, said BookTV executive producer Connie Doebele. After Words launched with Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, interviewing Newt Gingrich about his latest book, Winning the Future. Doebele said the formula for After Words will be to pair an author with a guest host who is familiar with the book's subject matter or author.
After Words airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern time on C-SPAN 2, which carries BookTV every weekend. Doebele said the BookTV staff had been looking to develop a new program since Brian Lamb announced over the summer that he would stop doing his popular Booknotes program at the end of the year. BookTV produced Booknotes, although it was initially carried on C-SPAN before being rerun on BookTV. The BookTV crew is not involved with Lamb's new program, Q&A,which airs on C-SPAN at 5 p.m. Sundays. Doebele said that by featuring a guest host, she is trying to put a different spin on the typical author interview program. She also hopes the formula will generate interest in the show by creating a buzz not only about the week's author, but about the interviewer as well.
Doebele said that while BookTV will continue to visit bookstores and cover publishing events, its "goal for 2005 is to develop more C-SPAN—produced programming." To give itself room to cover newsy events as well as add more original shows, BookTV has dropped the repeat broadcasts of Booknotes that had aired at 11 a.m. on Sundays, although it will continue to carry encore performances at 7 p.m. Saturdays.