Not bad for a 40-year-old TV show. Buoyed by what has always buoyed "60 Minutes" — high-interest news stories and great lead-ins from sports — the CBS newsmagazine finished 13th in the Nielsen ratings last season, best since 2000. Also heartening, the show grew its audience among key demographic groups, not just geezers.
You have to credit not only Jeff Fager, the show's EP, for freshening up the show's list of star presenters while not sacrificing the meaty stories about the global war on terror and the environment. You also, though, have to credit Sean McManus, who has taken full advantage of his dual role as president of CBS news and sports to ensure that as much of the desirable sports audience is handed off to "60 Minutes" as possible Sunday afternoons.
It wasn't a perfect season — I think we all could've done without that Lesley Stahl freakout over the Windows computer virus - and lauding Ken Lewis as the smartest big banker in America didn't quite go according to plan either ... Lesley.
Still, I wouldn't think of not watching. And in this sea of video choices, that says something. It says that I'm getting old.