For those that grew up in the 80s, you may have remembered this when you had a hard time getting to sleep at night, grabbed some cold pizza out of the fridge, and plopped in front of the television that still had the dials on it.
CBS News Nightwatch was a overnight news/talk block that many affiliates picked up on. It aired mostly after the old CBS Late Night program (which contained reruns of TV shows and a movie edited down to 80 minutes). Nightwatch was an alternative to the 'just news' shows. While NBC had Overnight, and some ABC affiliates aired CNN2 (later Headline News), Nightwatch had a different approach: Have news, but also entertain.
I remember segments with musicians, sports figures, and many actors. There would also be insightful stuff like stories on the dangers of smoking. After the piece on smoking, they had an in studio debate (podiums and all) on smoking. It got pretty heated and broke out into a fight lol. Around 1988/89, they changed the chic 'all black background w/skyline studio' into something that looked like a study or a dining room. I didn't really like it. Then in 1990, Charlie Rose left the program. This left the show without a host, so for the last two years, it would have a series of guest hosts.
Then in 1992, CBS finally decided to call it quits. They saw what kind of ratings ABC was getting with World News Now and NBC was limping in with Nightside, so CBS News Up To The Minute was created. All news, all night. But it looks like overnight news is on life support now as many affiliates prefer to show entertainment over network news in the graveyard hours.
I miss this show, and wish that one of the networks (including cable) would bring back the Nightwatch format. I miss it. My insomniac nights are incomplete without it.
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