Starting this Sunday, Oct. 8, CBS News’ legendary newsmagazine, 60 Minutes, will be extended by 30 minutes, allowing for the airing of an additional story that’s twice the length of a typical story segment during the broadcast.
This new supersized format will air on six Sundays this season when CBS airs NFL doubleheaders.
60 Minutes usually airs three stories per episode; the additional story will be a two-part story, with 60 Minutes executive producer Bill Owens saying that the story will have a pivot at the story’s midpoint.
Kicking things off on this Sunday’s 90-minute edition of 60 Minutes is Lesley Stahl’s two-part story on 3D printed buildings, as a Texas company sets out to replace traditional home construction with robotic printers and eventually 3D print on the Moon.
Stahl hinted at the end of the Oct. 1 edition of 60 Minutes the upcoming extended editions, saying, “If you have Sunday dinner with 60 Minutes next week, there will be time for an extra helping.” She added, “Following our usual three stories, we’ll have an all-new, two-part edition.”
According to Broadcasting+Cable, the idea of the extended editions of 60 Minutes was first hatched by CBS Entertainment president and CEO / chief content officer news & sports George Cheeks, who approached Owens with the concept.
Owens, understanding that adding additional time to the broadcast would be a challenging task and fearful of diluting what has been a long-successful format, nonetheless took on the new challenge, which included hiring additional staff comprising producers and associate producers.
Owens said the longer episodes “give you a little flexibility to do some other stories.” He added, “Our first worry was making sure we could do it. Making sure 60 Minutes, even at 90 minutes, gets over the bar for the audience.”
Another story that will get the two-part treatment is from Anderson Cooper, who will look into a slave ship that sunk in an Alabama river.
60 Minutes will join other signature CBS shows, like The Amazing Race and Survivor, with supersized 90-minute episodes this TV season.