60 Minutes Goes HD With Nominees

By SteveK 

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On the 40th anniversary broadcast of 60 Minutes this Sunday, the program is moving to HD, for all field and studio cameras, becoming the first newsmagazine to broadcast entirely in the format.

And to mark the occasion, the program will be entirely devoted to interviews with the presidential candidates.

Steve Kroft interviews Sen. Barack Obama and Scott Pelley interviews Sen. John McCain.

Update: Dennis O’Brien, EP of news and documentaries for HDNet, emails TVNewser: “While taking nothing away from the venerable 60 Minutes…I WILL point out that HDNet World Report and Dan Rather Reports have ALWAYS been shot in full, 1080i HD. For years. Every week!”

Click continued to see the release…

America’s most-watched news program takes a hard look at the presidential candidates on its 40th anniversary broadcast much as it did when its very first edition on Sept. 24, 1968, featured Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Forty years later, however, 60 MINUTES will debut a vivid, new look thanks to digital technology that would have been science fiction in 1968. 60 MINUTES’ 40th anniversary program – a special broadcast in high definition and devoted entirely to interviews with Barack Obama and John McCain — will be broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The separate interviews with the candidates will focus on the main issues concerning most voters, such as the faltering U.S. economy, energy, healthcare and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Steve Kroft interviews Obama and Scott Pelley interviews McCain, both of whom have been covering the candidates for over a year. The fresh interviews offer viewers a prelude to the first of the presidential debates that takes place on Friday (26).

Starting Sunday, all original 60 MINUTES broadcasts will be presented in the high definition format, including field and studio cameras, marking the first time a newsmagazine will be broadcast entirely in HDTV. In addition to the crisper, more vibrant picture, 60 MINUTES’ sound will be in a multi-channel digital format. HD sound offers a richer, deeper natural sound experience that will enhance segments, particularly those with outdoor or musical elements.

Many things have changed since 60 MINUTES debuted 40 years ago on a night most television viewers watched “Marcus Welby MD” or a movie on the other two network channels. Today, in a television universe of hundreds of channels and programs to choose from, 60 MINUTES wins its timeslot nearly every Sunday, consistently finishes among Nielsen’s Top 10 weekly programs, and has been watched by over 131 million Americans over the past year. Of those answering a recent Yahoo! poll, 55 percent said they watched 60 MINUTES.