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Opening sequence (2006–present)
|Created by||Don Hewitt|
See Correspondents below
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||48|
Don Hewitt (1968–2004)
Jeff Fager (2004–present)
|Running time||42 minutes|
CBS News Productions
480i (4:3 SDTV)
720p (4:3 HDTV)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
|Original release||September 24, 1968– present|
Face the Nation
Up to the Minute
60 Minutes is an American newsmagazine television program broadcast on the CBS television network. Debuting in 1968, the program was created by Don Hewitt, who chose to set it apart from other news programs by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation. In 2002, 60 Minutes was ranked #6 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and in 2013, it was ranked #24 on TV Guide's 60 Best Series of All Time.The New York Times has called it "one of the most esteemed news magazines on American television".
The program employed a magazine format, similar to that of the Canadian program W5, which had premiered two years earlier. It pioneered many of the most important investigative journalism procedures and techniques, including re-editing interviews, hidden cameras, and "gotcha journalism" visits to the home or office of an investigative subject. Similar programs sprang up in Australia and Canada during the 1970s, as well as on local television news.
Initially, 60 Minutes aired as a bi-weekly show hosted by Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace, debuting on September 24, 1968, and alternating weeks with other CBS News productions on Tuesday evenings at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The first edition, described by Reasoner in the opening as a "kind of a magazine for television," featured the following segments:
The first "magazine-cover" chroma key was a photo of two helmeted policemen (for the Clark interview segment). Wallace and Reasoner sat in chairs on opposite sides of the set, which had a cream-colored backdrop; the more famous black backdrop (which is still used as of 2015[update]) did not appear until the following year. The logo was in Helvetica type with the word "Minutes" spelled in all lower-case letters; the logo most associated with the show (rendered in Eurostile type with "Minutes" spelled in uppercase) did not appear until about 1974. Further, to extend the magazine motif, the producers added a "Vol. xx, No. xx" to the title display on the chroma key; modeled after the volume and issue number identifications featured in print magazines, this was used until about 1971. The trademark stopwatch, however, did not appear on the inaugural broadcast; it would not debut until several episodes later. Alpo dog food was the sole sponsor of the first program.
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