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JFK Specials a Draw for Networks; CBS Sees Biggest Numbers Since 1996

OsgoodKennedy50 years later, there’s still great interest in the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy. The networks and news shows have been producing special reports all week. And viewers are tuning in in big numbers:

  • A special edition of “CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood” generated the broadcast’s largest audience since February 4, 1996 drawing 6.23m viewers. As a comparison, that’s more than the weekday averages of the morning shows.
  • CBS’s Bob Schieffer anchored “Face the Nation” from Dallas last Sunday. The show had its biggest viewership in 12 years — since Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001. 4.57m viewers watched the broadcast making it the No. 1 public affairs show last Sunday.
  • Saturday night, CBS News broadcast “As it Happened: John F. Kennedy: 50 Years,” also hosted by Schieffer. The show was first in viewers and households at 9pm drawing 4.56m viewers.
  • Sunday night CNN aired “The Assassination of President Kennedy.” Back-to-back airings at 9pmET and at 11pmET won the cable news ratings in both total viewers and the demo. The 9pm airing drew 720,000 viewers / 201,000 in the demo; and at 11pm, 648,000 viewers watched with 238,000 in the demo.

Coverage will culminate tomorrow, the actual anniversary. Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather will be live in studio on NBC’s “Today” while Brian Williams will anchor “NBC Nightly News” and Scott Pelley will anchor “CBS Evening News” from Dallas.

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