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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
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Sixth Chamber, Inc
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In a history that spans four decades, 60 Minutes has piled up an encyclopedic list of first-and-onlys: it has aired fourteen-hundred-plus times, hauled in a profit of two billion dollars for CBS, finished in TV's top ten for twenty-two consecutive seasons, and garnered sixty-eight Emmy Awards. In the process, producer-guru Don Hewitt's beloved "tigers" -- correspondents Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Steve Kroft, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer, Meredith Vieira, the late Harry Reasoner, and cranky essayist Andy Rooney -- have become brand names and media demigods. Hidden cameras, "gotcha" interviews, in-your-face confrontational journalism -- this is where it all began.
And thirty-six years later, Hewitt's still there, pounding his desk, swearing at his tigers (most of whom are also still there), andholding in his tightly clenched fist the patent on the mother of all magazine shows.
Or, rather, he was, until just recently, when a bunch of younger guys in suits decided it was time to take 60 Minutes away from its eighty-one-year-old boss. The changes, the innovations, the stop-the-presses big stories -- for Hewitt, and maybe a couple of the others -- are, at last, winding down. But the story of the most successful and contentious program in TV history is not over yet: the new guys are settling in and the future is up for grabs.
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