Dreaming Of A Prime Network Newscast

By Brian 

> Update: 1:38pm: “Regarding James Poniewozik’s comments about a network newscast in prime time… The cable news networks don’t even do news in prime time! Why would the broadcast networks do it?,” an e-mailer asks…

Time’s James Poniewozik imagines a primetime newscast:

“This change, if it ever comes, won’t happen tomorrow or this year, because no single network has both problems bad enough at the same time. NBC is bleeding in prime time, but it has the top-rated newscast. CBS has, er, Katie Couric, but it still has a good half of the primetime top 10 shows any given week. But with these two trains converging on the network track, it’s not hard to see the day, some coming season, when a foundering network under corporate pressure gives the nightly news an hour in primetime to save itself or die trying. It may be 8 p.m., the hour NBC just surrendered to reality programming. It may be 10 p.m., where the networks have been unable to launch new dramas this year, and which would lead in to local newscasts. Local affiliates would love to have the 6:30 half-hour for more Seinfeld reruns, and beaten-up network news divisions would love one more chance to prove that they matter.”