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Don Lemon Makes His Debut on New CNN Show Don Lemon Tonight : 'We're Going to Tell the Truth'

·3 min read


After 15 years at CNN, Don Lemon is switching things up.

On Monday evening, the longtime host, 55, returned to his anchor seat at the network — this time with his newly named series, Don Lemon Tonight.

Lemon's fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo introduced his colleague, telling his friend, "I'm happy for you with the change. I like the look, I like whatever you like."

Lemon then explained that "with the name change" of the show "comes a renewed commitment to do what we do," which he described as holding "truth to power."

"We may have a new name, but we have the same mission ... [an] even stronger mission," Lemon said. "To have the kinds of conversations America needs to move ahead as a country."

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RELATED: CNN's Don Lemon Announces Newly Named Show Hours After Saying CNN Tonight 'Is No More'

"Whether you like it or not, we're going to tell the truth on this show," he said.

The new show, which will "hold people accountable for their actions with grace," covers "two live hours of the day's biggest stories," according to CNN.

Lemon, who joined CNN in 2006, hosted CNN Tonight from 2014 until the debut of his new show. On Friday, he announced that it was his last episode of the long-running show.

"It's been really, really great. This is the last night that will be CNN Tonight With Don Lemon," said Lemon. "So, I appreciate all the years of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, but changes are coming, and I will fill you in."

Though some viewers initially took his announcement to mean that he was leaving the network, Lemon later clarified on Instagram that he would remain at CNN and was simply moving on to a different venture.

John Lamparski/WireImage Don Lemon

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"So I got back down to my office after the show — everybody calm down," he said at the start of his Instagram video. "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 am not leaving CNN so you will have to tune in Monday at 10 o'clock to see."

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The journalist echoed that same sentiment in his caption, writing, "Whoa. It's not what you think. I'm not leaving CNN. Tune in at 10pE on Monday and I'll explain. Not to worry."

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The following morning, Lemon shared further clarification with his fans, explaining that he'd be "back on Monday with my newly named show Don Lemon Tonight."

"Didn't mean to set the internet on fire," he wrote. "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."

On Monday, as Cuomo was passing the baton to Lemon, Lemon explained that his previous announcement "was supposed to be a little tease."

At the top of his newly named show, he said: "Without further ado, this is Don Lemon Tonight. Has a ring to it doesn't it?"

Don Lemon Tonight airs weekdays (10 p.m. ET) on CNN.

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