PBS, NBC News to Air Thursday Prime-Time Specials Focusing on the Coronavirus

By A.J. Katz 

PBS and NBC News are airing specials on Thursday that focus on the coronavirus.

Confronting Coronavirus: A PBS NewsHour Special will on PBS stations across the country at 8 p.m. ET. The special will focus on health precautions for individuals and the public-at-large as well as the pandemic’s economic impact in the United States and globally.

The prime-time special, to be anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff, will include interviews with officials; reporting from NewsHour’s bench of special correspondents throughout the world; and a virtual town hall with curated questions from people across America, to be moderated by NewsHour senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz.


As of now, guests for the PBS special include:

  1. Anthony Fauci, M.D.
  2. Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  3. Leana Wen, M.D.
  4. Visiting Professor, George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health
  5. William Schaffner, M.D.
  6. Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University
  7. Elizabeth Cameron, Ph.D.
  8. Vice President, Global Biological Policy and Programs, Nuclear Threat Institute
  9. Ashish K. Jha
  10. K.T. Li Professor of Global Health and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute
  11. Austan Goolsbee
  12. Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, University of Chicago
  13. Former chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
  14. Michelle Singletary
  15. Personal finance columnist, The Washington Post

NBC has a prime time special of its own Thursday.

NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic is anchored by Lester Holt and airs at 10 p.m. ET across NBC, MSNBC, the streaming service NBC News Now and Telemundo Digital.

Holt is joined by a team of NBC News correspondents will provide real-time information around what viewers need to know about COVID-19.

The one-hour broadcast will also include expert analysis and health advice from NBC’s Coronavirus Crisis Team, including NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Dr. John Torres and top virologist and NBC News and MSNBC medical contributor Dr. Joseph Fair.

This format is a bit different than what some of the other networks have launched as of late.

As we reported earlier today, ABC announced that Amy Robach will host a new hour of news devoted to coronavirus starting tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET/PT. Pandemic: What You Need to Know temporarily replaces episodes of GMA 3.

Since late last week MSNBC has produced a daily news-use-can-use special including viewer emails, hosted by Joshua Johnson and Chris Jansing, along with a host of medical professionals. That show has also been airing at 1 p.m. ET.

And yesterday, Fox News also launched a 1 p.m. ET hour called Coronavirus Pandemic: Questions Answered. It’s anchored by Harris Faulkner. It temporarily replaces Outnumbered: Overtime.