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‘Nightline’ Ready for Leno Return

nightlinelogo_2-22.jpgB&C’s Marisa Guthrie looks at what’s ahead for ABC’s “Nightline,” the network’s 11:35pm news program that’s been holding its own against the broadcast comedy competition of late. Guthrie also talks to “Nightline” EP James Goldston about the state of the program:

“There have been many articles written and much debate about Nightline’s demise over the years,” Goldston notes. “At this point, I think the show is stronger than ever.”

But Nightline has nevertheless been at the center of occasional and well-publicized internal tugs-of-war at ABC, with executives in Burbank making no secret of an apparent intermittent desire to wrest the 11:35 p.m. time period from the news division. Inside ABC News, Nightline is held up as a success story: a transition from the Ted Koppel-anchored seminar it was for 25 years to a three-anchor format and ratings success amidst the cacophony of late-night laughers.

Goldston says “Nightline” has plans for multiple primetime specials this summer, which will help raise the program’s profile.

On another note, in response to questions about what would happen if “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran were to fill the opening at “This Week,” Goldston says, “We’d work something out. I would expect him to stay on the team if that happens.”

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