The experiment that almost was quite successful---30 Minutes
The hard-hitting magazine documentary series for the youth of America was as every bit as aggressive and thorough as its source of inspiration,since this program was intended for older teenagers and college students alike who basically watch the show since it came on immediately after the Saturday Morning fiasco of cartoons,live-action,and variety shows,but this one was with a twist. This was the youth version to the long-running CBS newsmagazine show "60 Minutes".
Its precessdor,titled "30 Minutes" was just like it,with the reporters pulling no punches in being frank with controversial issues. With the team of respectful and dedicated journalists which included CBS News correspondent Christopher Glenn(who by the way was also the reporter for the youth program segment titled "In The News",also produced by CBS News between 1970-1977),along with anchors Betsy Aaron, Betty Ann Bowser,Patricia McGuire,and in several segments featuring "60 Minutes" regulars like Mike Wallace,Morey Safer,and others in some of the reporting and in some of the commentary that was mentioned on the show. Among the topics or subjects that were covered were life for teenagers in prison(who remembers the featured they did on Scared Straight?),the censorship of a high school play,drug addiction,teenage homosexuality, school vandalism,teenage runaways,and children of alcoholic parents and other controversial subjects that were covered....all of this within a half-hour,and it was ONLY shown on Saturday afternoons.
Some lighter features did come to pass like a behind-the-scenes look at "MAD" magazine,interviews with teen celebrities like singing idol Shaun Cassidy and so much more. One feature segment included a look at school safety and the rights of students at school. The series only lasted four seasons on CBS by the way from the premiered episode on September 16, 1978 until the final curtain bow of the show on August 28,1982. The series itself took a summer hiatus during 1979. The series was also shown as a Sunday morning supplement as well which the network placed it behind another CBS News program "Face The Nation" during the summers of 1979 and 1980 with repeated episodes. Since it lasted four years,the series was taped at CBS News Headquarters in New York,despite unimpressive ratings. It was an experiment that almost became successful in its own right.
The executive producer for this series was Don Hewitt.
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