October 4, 2006 1:32 PM
Court TV’s daytime ratings are likely to see a healthy hike when jury selection begins Oct. 16 for Christopher McCowen, who has been charged with the Jan. 5, 2002, murder and rape of Christa Worthington, a prominent fashion writer. The murder of the single mother has captured national attention, given that it took four years to obtain the DNA sample from McCowen, which was a match.
Worthington was killed in her Truro home. Truro, on Cape Cod, is an isolated town, especially during the dead of winter. The small community is so remote that some homes still cannot receive cable TV.
Court TV enjoyed huge ratings spikes from its coverage of the Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson trials, but has not had a prominent trial since then. Court TV News Executive VP Marlene Dann expects this trial will be widely viewed, given the intrigue and tragedy surrounding the case.
Worthington’s body was discovered by a neighbor. Most tragically, her 2-year-old daughter Ava was found by her side, clutching her dead mother’s body. Court TV will air the trial live from Barnstable Superior Court, on the Cape, and serve as the news pool. Ms. Dann’s best estimate is that the trial could run for a month. And so far, and this could change on a dime, she warned, there are no gag orders or other coverage restrictions.