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Posts Tagged ‘Jaycee Dugard’

Happy Birthday Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer is taking her birthday week off. She deserves it. Sawyer, who turns 66 today, has had a busy 2011. (But who in the TV news world hasn’t?)

The “World News” anchor and managing editor traveled to Japan in March to cover the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. She got the first interviews with Jaycee Dugard (right) in July — one of ABC’s most-watched shows of the year. And in September got the first interview with Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) after securing the first interview with her husband Capt. Mark Kelly in January. And she’s reported several other primetime specials this year. So enjoy the birthweek and happy birthday Diane!

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Barbara Walters To Interview Syria’s Al-Assad

In his first TV interview with an American outlet since the uprising began in his country earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will speak to ABC’s Barbara Walters.

Walters questioned Syria’s leader on the human rights violations the UN has said his government is committing, as well as the harsh treatment and crackdown of protestors. The interview will air across all of the ABC News platforms on Wednesday, December 7, including a special edition of “Nightline” dedicated solely to Syria.

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As Elizabeth Smart Strives to Look Forward, ‘GMA’ Looks Back on her Story

Elizabeth Smart made her debut as an ABC News contributor this morning with a set-up piece and interview with George Stephanopoulos. At the age of 14 in 2002, Smart was kidnapped and held for 9 months. She was found with her kidnappers less than 20 miles from her home in Utah in March of 2003.

When her hire was announced last week, ABC made it clear that Smart’s appearances would be, “very much focused on looking ahead, not looking back on her own story.”

But this morning, Stephanopoulos asked her, in the context of the Jaycee Dugard relationship with her mother, how Smart’s mother helped her survived the trauma of being kidnapped.

“For me, my mom pointed out that I could live in the past; that I could hold on to what this man did to me and how he hurt me, and I could feel sorry for myself, or I could choose to not give another minute of my life to this man and move forward and follow my dreams.”

He also asked about the end of the legal process in her case: “I certainly have come a long way from June of 2003,” said Smart, mistaking the year. It was 2002. “And I try to always be looking forward…try to always have hope for the future. But it certainly was nice to have the verdict come out, know that it was done, have it be an ending.”

Smart, now 23, also advocated for no cuts to federal funding for children’s issues. She also gave a shout out to her new TV partners: “I am thrilled to be working with ABC. I think there is a real power in partnering up and I really believe that we can do some good together.”

Video after the jump…

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Jaycee Dugard Book Sells 175,000 Copies on Day One

GalleyCat reports Jaycee Dugard‘s “A Stolen Life” sold 175,000 copies in print, audiobooks and ebooks in its first day yesterday. The book’s publisher, Jonathan Karp says Sunday’s interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer shows that viewers, “want to hear more of her voice, on the page…” The Dugard special on ABC was the night’s most-watched program, and ABC’s highest-rated non-sports summer programming in 11 years.

With 14.8 Million Viewers, ABC Tops Competition Combined with Jaycee Dugard Interview

The overnight Nielsen ratings show ABC’s 2-hour Jaycee Dugard special was the network’s most-watched show since the NBA Finals last month and the biggest non-sports telecast since the Oscars in February. With 14.8 million Total Viewers, the Diane Sawyer special topped the combined competition on the broadcast networks which were mostly in re-runs. One exception was NBC’s “The Marriage Ref” which drew a series low at 10pm.

The Sawyer special, based on Dugard’s book “A Stolen Life” and including the first interview with Dugard, peaked in the 10pm half hour with 15.67 million viewers, when Chris Cuomo had a two-part investigation on how law enforcement authorities missed dozens of signs of Dugard being held against her will.

This was ABC’s biggest summer audience in the 2-hour time period with non-sports programming in nearly 11 years – since August 27, 2000.

For the night, in the A18-49 demo, ABC averaged a 2.5 rating/7 share in primetime, with CBS and FOX tied for second at 1.4/4. Univision was fourth at 0.8/2, and NBC fifth at 0.7/2.

Diane Sawyer Tweets Through Jaycee Dugard Special

Diane Sawyer began Tweeting Friday ahead of tonight’s live tweet of her Jaycee Dugard special. (Sawyer’s second Tweet was about the death of former First Lady Betty Ford). It was Dugard’s first interview since being set free from 18 years of captivity at the hands of a deranged, convicted rapist and his complicit wife.

Sawyer has spent the last 12 days working on the special, including two days of interviews with Dugard late last month. Sawyer, along with Chris Cuomo, who investigated the inaction by local, state and federal authorities, taped their on camera portions this weekend. Sawyer watched the special at ABC News headquarters tonight along with ABC News newsmagazine EP David Sloan (below).

The special leaned heavily on passages from Dugard’s book, “A Stolen Life” which comes out Tuesday. In it, Dugard describes her last feeling of freedom along a South Lake Tahoe road on that June morning in 1991 — a pine cone, which, 20 years later is a symbol of the hope that kept her alive. (Video of Dugard talking about the day she was kidnapped, after the jump.)

Dugard now wears a pine cone charm necklace, and presented Sawyer with one of her own, which Sawyer showed at the close of the show, and Tweeted later (above). Sawyer (@dianesawyer) had about 7,000 followers at the start of her special and more than 10,000 by its end in the Eastern and Central time zones.

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Elizabeth Smart Approached by ABC, NBC, CBS and ‘Various Cable Entities’

Elizabeth Smart had been approached by the big three TV networks and by several cable channels before deciding ABC News was the “best fit” for her, says her spokesman.

Smart, whose deal with ABC News was first reported by The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz Thursday, could be on the air as soon as late next week on “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”

Chris Thomas tells TVNewser, Smart had been approached to discuss offers “ranging from reality television to correspondent and other positions.”

“She spent the past few months carefully analyzing these opportunities to determine which best aligned with her child advocacy efforts and that will allow her to have the greatest impact,” says Thomas.

At 14 years old, in June of 2002, Smart was kidnapped and held for 9-months. It would take another eight years for justice in the case, when on May 25 of this year, Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to two life-terms.

Smart’s kidnapping and recovery was the most high profile case of its kind in the last decade, perhaps until we learned of the case of Jaycee Dugard, who, for the first time, tells her story of being held for 18 years by kidnappers, to ABC’s Diane Sawyer as part of a two-hour special on Sunday.

An ABC News spokeswoman tells us Smart, now 23, is not part of the Dugard special.

Smart’s appearances on ABC News will be, “very much focused on looking ahead, not looking back on her own story,” ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend tells us.

Smart will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall and plans to graduate with a degree in music in April. “ABC has been very accommodating of her school schedule and desire to complete her education,” says Thomas.

Diane Sawyer Talks About Her Interview with Jaycee Dugard

Diane Sawyer returned to “Good Morning America” today to talk about her interview with Jaycee Dugard, the California woman who was kidnapped at age 11 and held captive for the next 18 years. But Sawyer is saving the first soundbite for “World News” tonight. Sawyer also revealed that ABC’s Chris Cuomo has launched an investigation into the dozens of times law enforcement came to the house where Dugard was being held, but didn’t find her. The full two-hour special airs Sunday night on ABC.

Sawyer’s interview with Elizabeth Vargas after the jump…

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ABC’s Diane Sawyer gets first interview with Jaycee Dugard

Jaycee Dugard before her abduction in 1991

In one of the most sought-after interviews recently, Diane Sawyer will conduct the first sit-down with Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped at age 11 on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe, CA, and held captive for the next 18 years. Dugard was reunited with her family in August, 2009. Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced earlier this month to life in prison for their crimes.

The interview dates have not yet been set up, but it will air next month on ABC News shortly before the publication of Dugard’s memoir “A Stolen Life.” Friday marks 20 years since Dugard was kidnapped.

Morning Show Bookers Set Their Sights on Jaycee Dugard

The next big morning show “get” is on the horizon. Jaycee Dugard, the woman who was kidnapped as a child and held for 18 years, has a memoir coming out this Summer that details her experiences.

As the AP reports, Dugard has not yet committed to doing interviews, but that will not stop bookers from pursuing her.

“What’s conveyed on television is her emotion, the look on her face,” Seltzer said of a possible network TV interview. “With great and true respect to the printed word, it’s not the same.”

Seltzer declined to reveal which networks were making pitches. She is asking the journalists to provide details on what they would ask Dugard.

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