NBC News Overnight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

NBC News Overnight was a television news program on the NBC television network that aired weekday mornings from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. from July 5, 1982 to December 3, 1983 for 367 telecasts. The program was noteworthy because during this era a large majority of TV stations signed off between 1 and 3 a.m., with the rest running obscure syndicated shows and old movies.

Key personalities[edit]

NBC News Overnight was the brainchild of NBC News president Reuven Frank, who conceived the show as inexpensive overnight programming after Late Night with David Letterman. Frank had created the news program Weekend in 1974, and the two programs shared a similar, sometimes ironic outlook on the news. Weekend's co-hosts Lloyd Dobyns and Linda Ellerbee were reunited for the program initially, though Bill Schechner replaced Dobyns in November 1982. Herb Dudnick was the program's first executive producer and was succeeded by Deborah B. Johnson.

Humorous sign offs[edit]

During the show's early months the anchors were known for signing off in a humorous fashion. For example, during one installment Dobyns was given a very long, complex word to say and he stumbled over it; at the end of that broadcast the anchor took a moment to praise his writing staff, only to light-heartedly threaten to "take it all back" if they ever included such a word in his scripts again. Dobyns and then Ellerbee closed each show by saying, "And So It Goes." (which had been Dobyns' sign-off on Weekend). It became a bit of a catch-phrase and was the title of her first autobiographical book.

Critical response[edit]

NBC News Overnight was widely regarded as one of the smartest television news shows. Appealing to an eclectic audience of college students, nursing mothers, and late shift workers, the show broke the conventional "lowest common denominator" style of most news programs and injected humor into an otherwise boring medium, while providing news analysis usually unseen on other major-network newscasts.[1] TIME named it one of the best programs of 1982, calling it "TV's wittiest, toughest, least snazzy news strip",[2] and, after the program left the air, one of the best programs of 1983.[3] The duPont Columbia Awards awards jury cited NBC News Overnight as "possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever." [4]

Influences[edit]

NBC News Overnight was the inspiration for many news shows. From World News Now to Countdown with Keith Olbermann, many have attempted to imitate Overnight's signature style of combining hard news features with incisive commentary and light hearted stories.[5]

The Seven Network in Australia had a program with the same name (minus the NBC) airing overnights on weeknights between 1985 and 1989. Clips from NBC News programs would often be shown within the show.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]