Imagine An Hour Of Nightline

By Brian 

> Update: 3:33pm: ABC execs are pushing back hard against the notion that the project was initiated by the network. “This was not a mandate from the West Coast,” an insider says…

Rebecca Dana‘s scoop: “On the afternoon of Feb. 9, the cast and crew of ABC News’ Nightline convened quietly in the network’s Times Square studio to shoot two secret pilots of an hour-long version of the half-hour 11:30 p.m. news show, according to three sources familiar with the project.

Why would it add half an hour? Well, “Nightline still loses a small amount of money for ABC — although not nearly as much as it did when Mr. Koppel was running things,” and the extra ad revenue could put the show in the black. Jimmy Kimmel‘s show, on the other hand, is losing “buckets of money.”

“Disney executives in Burbank, Calif., gave permission for the pilots in January,” the story says. “The pilot came from the initiative of ABC News and Nightline. It was certainly not a network request,” an ABC insider adds…