LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Broadcasters are scrambling to pull together retrospective news specials on Michael Jackson, who was pronounced dead Thursday at the age of 50 after going into cardiac arrest.
ABC, CBS and NBC are reworking their primetime lineups to make room for coverage of the singer and the passing of actress Farrah Fawcett.
ABC News plans two hours of primetime to be devoted to Jackson and Fawcett. The network announced a special “20/20” called “The Life and Death of Michael Jackson” at 9 p.m. with Barbara Walters and Martin Bashir anchoring. Bashir came to the network after his 2003 documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” scored a large audience for the network. At 10 p.m., ABC’s previously planned special “Farrah Fawcett: Her life, Her Loves, Her Legacy” will air. Additional reporting will continue on “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m. ET.
NBC News plans a two-hour episode of “Dateline” starting at 9 p.m. devoted to Jackson and Fawcett. NBC News’ Ann Curry and Meredith Vieira will anchor the tribute. On Friday, NBC plans to rebroadcast “Farrah’s Story,” a two-hour documentary about Fawcett’s battle with cancer.
CBS News currently plans a one-hour news special at 10 p.m., also titled “The Life and Death of Michael Jackson.”
During Thursday’s live results show of “So You Think You Can Dance” on Fox, judge Nigel Lythgoe spoke about the passing of Jackson, Fawcett and Ed McMahon.
Editing by Dean Gooodman at Reuters