Election Night May Be A Watershed For Networks

All three networks on both coasts are carving out a lollapalooza of their own on election night this year with JumboTron coverage in Times Square and shared dispatch space with Fox News, Reuters and Nasdaq, according to media central

Whoever wins will no doubt enjoy the attention from NYC and L.A.

Expect New Yorkers and Los Angelenos to go heartily into that good night as they welcome the new President from whichever side of the tracks surviving.

Meanwhile on the left coast, politics will be as usual — three hours behind. No major parties or celebratory plans for Obama or McCain are being tossed around, but you can expect that Gov. Schwarzenegger (and supporters) will throw something to help celebrate his “initiatives.”

ABC will broadcast its proceedings on the Times Square JumboTron, while just across the street, Fox News will be beaming down from the Square’s giant Astro Vision monitor. ABC has also bought space from Reuters, Nasdaq and the Hard Rock Cafe to take over their electronic signs to provide real-time election results.

NBC is set to superimpose a gigantic national map on the Rockefeller Center skating rink and project Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s escalating electoral vote counts on the facade of its 30 Rock HQ, says Variety.

This year’s telecasts will include more interactive coverage than ever with international reporting via live dispatches on global reaction to the results. Further, more reporters have been added in the battleground states.

Meanwhile, rather than go with counterprogramming to appease those who are not election junkies, other outlets are either jumping on the political bandwagon or sticking with their usual fare.

HBO will rerun “Recount,” its Emmy-winning telepic on the 2000 Florida vote count debacle. Showtime is sticking with its regular Tuesday encores of “Dexter” and “Californication.”

TBS will offer a politically themed seg of its Frank Caliendo latenight sketch comedy “Frank TV.”

The CW will be the only major broadcast outlet that will not be knee-deep in the electoral vote count when primetime begins, says Variety. It is banking on regular programming with new segs of “90210” and “Privileged.”

TCM, meanwhile, went through its library for titles that include the word “decision,” even if they’re not politically themed. The movie channel’s lineup on Election Night consists of “Decision at Sundown,” “Command Decision,” “Decision Against Time” and “The Valley of Decision.”

The Big Three networks will air live from 7 p.m. to roughly 2 a.m. in NY.