The Saturday premiere of 48 Hours (10/9c) marks the start of the CBS newsmagazine's 25th season. But executive producer Susan Zirinsky can think of far more important numbers connected with the program.
CBS News is bringing back Person to Person, the 1950s prime-time program that pioneered celebrity interviews and was hosted by legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow.
"We have dreamed about bringing a modern version of this great program ... back to CBS for years — and now it is happening," CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said Thursday. ...
Most network newsmagazines have had to reinvent themselves to survive in recent years and none have done it as successfully as CBS's 48 Hours Mystery. Entering its fifth year in its true crime format, executive producer Susan Zirinsky has made the program appointment viewing for fans of the genre. The Biz caught up with Zirinsky before the show's Saturday, Sept. 27, season premiere (at 10 pm ET).
Crime is paying for 48 Hours Mystery.
After fighting each year for a spot on the prime-time schedule, the long-running newsmagazine is looking more secure since it's been turned into what could be called CSI: CBS News.
The show still has its single-topic format, but gone are the long-winded intros by a CBS anchor, so viewers now get right into the story.
The changes have resulted in decent ratings and a different kind of show for CBS News. While 60 Minutes wouldn't touch the Laci Peterson murder case — which has offered up endless fodder for lurid supermarket tabloid covers — 48 Hours Mystery dove right in.
But the show is at its best when it takes a Law & Order-esque look at less high-profile whodunits drawn from real life, such as the murder of a Williamsport, Penn., woman by her surgeon husband.
This week's episode (Saturday at 10 pm/ET on CBS) features the grisly tale of an una