She would go excellently with the likes of Jane Velez-Mitchell and Nancy Grace. And, what do I propose HLN call her show? “News and Views”. Yes, that used to be HLN’s slogan (and if it still is their slogan, then they simply don’t use it all that often), but I think it would make for an equally compelling show title. As a legal analyst, she can present the news (in an HLN primetime way, which would of course mean the legal/justice news) and then offer her own views, a thing she will have no problem filling an hour with. And since HLN (and as of late, CNN) likes having a large group of people on the TV screen discussing it, this will go well with the formula they have adapted.
As for where to put her… Well, there are quite a few openings for Mel. Since this would be more in line with the types of shows that Jane and Nancy do, I think it would work well if she was their lead-in, or if her show was after Dr. Drew’s. Currently, JVM starts at 7pm ET; at 6pm, there is a repeat of the previous night’s Dr. Drew On Call. If they could move the repeat of Dr. Drew to 5pm (where a taped show plays anyway), that would keep all of their opinion-shows together, instead of separating them. This show could theoretically go at 5pm, but it would be strange, in my opinion, to do so; it’s too early in the day for the type of show that would be going on. And then, the final option would be at 10pm, right after Dr. Drew.
I know that HLN is anchored almost exclusively from CNN Center Atlanta (at least, as of now) – from 6am-5pm, HLN is all Atlanta; and then from 7-8pm, it is NYC (JVM), and from 8-9, Atlanta (Nancy Grace), and then lastly, Los Angeles (Dr. Drew) from 9-10. So I get it may be a stretch for her to host a show and not be in Atlanta… But it’s certainly not impossible. She appears to live in NYC and Boston; she is often on set with Ashleigh Banfield in NYC, and if she’s not on set, she’s usually always at CNN’s Boston bureau.
Will she be an instant gold mine for HLN? Probably not. But if they invest a decent amount of money into promoting the show and giving her time to grow it, I think she can be competitive at her time slot. If her show were to air at 6pm, she would be going up against the Situation Room/Crossfire in the 6pm hour from CNN; Special Report from Fox; Politics Nation from MSNBC. If it were to air at 10pm, it would go against CNN Tonight from CNN (though it only airs M-W); Hannity from Fox; and Last Word from MSNBC.