Shows Affected by War Coverage

Mar 24, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The finale of CBS’s Star Search was pre-empted for Iraq war coverage halfway through the live show last Wednesday night. Because the show is live and counts on viewers’ votes over the Web to determine winners, the show was stopped at 9:33 p.m. (ET) when war coverage took precedence. Winners had already been chosen in the kids musician and dance category. One of the two comedians in the comic category had performed before getting bumped for news. The adult singer category didn’t take place. Results of the completed categories will stand and the network and producers are still determining how and when they will finish the show, a CBS spokesperson said.
ABC’s annual Oscar night Barbara Walters Special, originally scheduled to air Sunday, was postponed indefinitely. Ms. Walters was slated to interview Academy Award nominees Renee Zellweger, Julianne Moore and Nicolas Cage.
CBS and Fox kept their regularly scheduled entertainment programming for last Friday night. NBC pulled the premiere of its new reality show Most Talented Kid in America and the first episode of Ed on its new night and replaced it with Dateline, featuring war coverage, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Law & Order: Criminal Intent from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Law & Order: SVU was scheduled to remain at 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. NBC also planned to pre-empt Late Show With Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien for news coverage.
On Saturday, CBS had planned to add an hour of news coverage from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. after its NCAA basketball coverage and NBC had planned an extra Dateline episode from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
NBC replaced last Thursday night’s scheduled episode of ER with a Dateline special devoted to the war with Iraq from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. NBC aired one-minute news updates during each comedy. NBC pre-empted Late Show With Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien for network news coverage and then turned over its airwaves to MSNBC’s news feed for overnight hours.
CBS, which bumped NCAA tournament coverage to ESPN during the day last Thursday while CBS News took over, ran its regularly scheduled NCAA basketball games from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET). Viewers, however, did not watch in droves-basketball finished in third place with a 3.0 Nielsen Media Research rating and 7 share in adults 18 to 49 and 7.9 million viewers. It was beaten by NBC’s lineup and ABC’s war coverage, which pre-empted the regularly scheduled Profiles From the Frontline and Are You Hot?
Fox pre-empted its regularly scheduled lineup of The Pulse and a rerun of Married by America for all news coverage.