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4 items from 2016


Why ‘Dateline NBC’s’ Harry Smith Had to Freeze His Clothes

12 May 2016 11:10 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Dateline NBC” correspondent Harry Smith went to an area so secluded that he was forced to literally freeze his clothes before stepping foot on the Palmyra Atoll so he could tell the island’s story without corrupting it. “They asked us to buy some new clothes and then to freeze them for at least 48 hours,” Smith told TheWrap. “They are so concerned about bringing invasive species in that they wanted to make sure we didn’t bring anything along with us.” “On Assignment” is a special series from “Dateline NBC,” and this week’s edition features Smith bringing TV cameras to the remote wildlife refuge. »

- Brian Flood

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NBC News Goes ‘On Assignment’ to Launch New Newsmagazine

6 May 2016 12:03 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When Keith Morrison appears on NBC this Sunday, he will be talking about the stuff viewers have come to expect of him – matters of life and death. But he won’t be chasing the perpetrator in a whodunnit, as he has while examining stories of murder and true crime on the network’s venerable “Dateline.”

NBC News is hoping the familiarity its audience has with its correspondents will allow the network to launch something very different: “On Assignment,” a six-episode newsmagazine that relies more heavily on stories of adventure and innovation than the so-called “murder porn” that viewers have come to expect from “Dateline,” “48 Hours” and other broadcast-network newsmagazines these days. It’s the news unit’s first attempt at a newsmagazine since the demise of an effort with similar goals: “Rock Center,”  anchored by Brian Williams. “On Assignment” is also the latest programming salvo from NBC News, which recently »

- Brian Steinberg

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Ratings: ABC’s ’20/20′ Special ‘Prince: Death of a Legend’ Tops Friday in Demo

23 April 2016 9:05 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Despite facing a competing NBC news special on the death of pop superstar Prince, ABC’s “20/20” special “Prince: Death of a Legend” stood as Friday’s top draw in key demos.

In Nielsen’s preliminary national estimates, “20/20” (1.3 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) shot up 30% (0.3) week to week in 18-49, winning its hour over NBC’s “Dateline” special “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), which was down slightly from last week. It was Friday’s No. 1 program in both 18-49 and the key news demo of adults 25-54 (1.8/6)

CBS was competitive in the demos (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.3/4 in 25-54) and led the 10 o’clock hour hour in total viewers (7.6 million) with a repeat of “Blue Bloods.”

The ABC special, anchored by Elizabeth Vargas, featured reporting from Dan Harris from Prince’s home in Minneapolis, Chris Connelly in Los Angeles and Deborah Roberts in New York. »

- Rick Kissell

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Prince to Be Honored With TV Specials, ‘SNL’ Tribute this Weekend

22 April 2016 1:08 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Following Thursday’s shocking news of Prince’s sudden death, the world continues to honor the musician and will do so throughout the weekend when the icon’s life is celebrated on various television specials.

Dateline NBCPrince: Life & Death of an Icon”

Dateline NBC” will hour an hourlong tribute special for Prince on Friday Apr. 22 at 10 p.m. titled “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon.” Celebrating his life and legacy, the special will review Prince’s last days, while also taking a look at other music legends who have recently died. Lester Holt will anchor “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon” from Los Angeles with feature reporting from Dateline correspondents Harry Smith, Andrea Canning, Cynthia McFadden, Josh Mankiewicz and Natalie Morales.

(With Prince taking priority over previously planned programming, “Dateline’s” original Friday night episode, “House of Secrets” about a Cornell student caught in the middle of a homicide investigation, »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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4 items from 2016


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