Monday, November 23, 2020

60 Minutes' short-lived spinoff "Up to the Minute"

 In the 1981-1982 season, CBS launched a daily spinoff of its smash hit newsmagazine 60 Minutes. It's difficult to get information about this short-lived program, but a promo recently appeared on YouTube:

According to the book Total Television, the series was a half-hour newsmagazine intended to get the network a piece of the territory that was traditionally the domain of its affiliates.  Many of those local stations were unwilling to clear the show in its 4:00 timeslot, though, and it only lasted 16 weeks. A different CBS News personality hosted the program each day.

The show is a footnote now, but it's an interesting failure and a little-known attempt by CBS to milk its franchise.  Later on, the network would have more success replicating the format in prime time.

I was able to find one complete episode on YT, this from October 1981. Note the local-news-style opening. It's a one-topic episode with Mike Wallace anchoring and leading a discussion after the taped piece. And doing commentary is not Andy Rooney, but Bob Keeshan in "civilian" form!

No comments:

Post a Comment