Newsmagazine Is Almost A Dirty Word

By Brian 

Susan Zirinsky, executive producer of 48 Hours Mystery, doesn’t even call her program a newsmagazine anymore.

“I consider ourselves a reality drama that has the ability to jump if news warrants,” she said.

It’s an acknowledgement of the show’s status as a one-hour crime drama, “sort of like a real-life ‘CSI,'” the AP’s David Bauder says. And it’s also an acknowledgement that the artificial reality of reality shows has supplanted drama of newsmags.

Zirinsky’s comment about “the ability to jump” is important. “The advantage that a network has by maintaining a magazine show is that you are there to take on larger subjects,” she said. “The week-in and the week-out? That’s the challenge.” (Does that remind anyone of a certain news network whose president has talked about bringing the style of 60 Minutes to cable?)