Rock Center with Brian Williams Rock Center with Brian Williams

The biggest TV news of the night comes from a network's news division, as NBC News launches Rock Center With Brian Williams (10/9c), the first high-profile network newsmagazine with serious intent to premiere in a long while, closer in tone to 60 Minutes than Dateline's lurid true-crime fixation. How serious is this? No less a legend than Ted Koppel has signed on as a contributor, though he wasn't on the initial first-night playlist. Top-rated Nightly News anchor Brian Williams hosts live from Studio 3B in Rockefeller Center, and the opening lineup includes a report on Syrian rebellion from star foreign correspondent Richard Engel, a Kate Snow investigation about Chinese women who come to America to give birth and return with U.S. citizenship, and former CBS anchor Harry Smith with a piece about "the one place in America with a negative unemployment rate."

No one's expecting blockbuster ratings, especially on Halloween night, but this project is more about prestige and credibility, and NBC is going to give it time. Besides, it's not as if they could do any worse in the time period.

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