CBS News Sunday Morning is an American television news magazine program created by Robert Northshield and Charles Kuralt, and appearing continuously from January 28, 1979 on the CBS Television Network, airing in the Eastern US on Sunday from 9:00 to 10:30 am. The current host of the show is Charles Osgood, who took over from Kuralt upon his retirement in March 27, 1994. The program was originally conceived to be a sort of broadcast version of a Sunday newspaper rotogravure section, most typified by the Sunday New York Times Magazine. The format of the show was briefly copied by the weekday CBS Morning News broadcast anchored by Bob Schieffer as Morning (Kuralt eventually took over the daily role, and was for a short time joined by Diane Sawyer as co-host). However, the show's then-limited 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET air time (the long-running Captain Kangaroo was entrenched in the 8 o'clock hour) hampered its ability to compete with NBC and ABC's rival two-hour morning shows, though it expanded to an hour and a half in 1981. The CBS weekday program, now a full two hours on the East Coast, is now known as The Early Show.
The program follows a format similar to a Sunday newspaper in a television show. Notably, Sunday Morning includes significant coverage of the fine and performing arts, including coverage of topics usually not covered in network news, such as architecture, painting, ballet, opera, and classical music, though increasingly more popular forms of music have been included. The program chooses to ask untraditional questions of guests; for instance, it asked actor Brad Pitt about his love of architecture, and Grant Hill about his painting collection. Television essays similar to the kinds delivered on PBS also show up, and the program generally has a stable of positive and negative news stories to fill up the program when there is no breaking news of note. Story lengths are longer and the pace of the program is considerably relaxed from the weekday Early Show. Recurring segments occur with commentators Ben Stein and Nancy Giles delivering their opinion, and with correspondent Bill Geist doing human interest stories. Despite the stereotype of the program appealing towards senior citizens , the show actually placed first among its time slot in the key 25-54 demographic, beating all of the Sunday morning talk shows.
On one occasion, the program has served as a showcase entirely for classical music. This was in April 1986, when it presented a live broadcast of Vladimir Horowitz's historic Moscow piano recital. For that presentation only, the program departed from its usual newsmagazine format and devoted the entire ninety minutes to a complete presentation of the recital. Because the recital was given at 4:00 P.M. Moscow time, CBS was able to broadcast it at 9:00 A.M., E.D.T. The presentation was such a critical and popular success that it was repeated only two months later, and subsequently released on VHS and DVD.
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