Diane Sawyer

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Journalist Roxana Saberi Talks to Diane Sawyer About Her Time in ... - ABC News
By SARAH NETTER and MARGARET ARO "I felt contradictory feelings, because on the one hand, of course I was very happy to come out and to be with my family and friends," Saberi told Diane Sawyer today on "Good Morning America." But on the other hand,...
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See ABC News interview of Saberi by Diane Sawyer - Grand Forks Herald
Roxana Saberi, the journalist from Fargo who was imprisoned for four months in Iran, was interviewed by ABC News' Diane Sawyer. You can watch the interview by using this link: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7705774 Roxana Saberi,...
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Instead, Sawyer referred to the film, a prequel to "The Da Vinci Code," as a "scary, spiritual scavenger hunt." After playing a clip of Hanks' character in the film asserting that he has no religious beliefs, she moved on to talking about how the movie...
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Now, Diane Sawyer's next question was this: "Do you think the gas tax approach is right or wrong or just politically unacceptable?" BROWNER: I think what we're doing today is right. I, uh, think putting these standards, uh, proposing these standards,...
ABC's Diane Sawyer Pleads for European-style Gas Tax - Prison Planet.com
“Good Morning America” co-host Diane Sawyer on Tuesday aggressively lobbied for the Obama administration to install a European-style gas tax on the United States. Talking to Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change,...
Journalist Roxana Saberi Talks to Diane Sawyer About Her Time in ... - ABC News
No one can hurt your soul unless you let them," Saberi told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an interview airing Friday on "Good Morning... Javascript is not enabled on your browser. Please enable javascript to use the community features on this page....
KATC Viewers Visit Good Morning America - KATC
Donald Akers made it a point to go to the ABC News studios to see Good Morning Acadiana Live in Times Square and got the chance to meet hosts Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. The sign the group held was seen on air. It read, "Good Morning America,...
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When anchor Diane Sawyer asked about “what kind of fight is the White House anticipating” from Republicans in the Senate and “how do they plan to deal with it,” Stephanopoulos further explained that “Republicans and conservatives have already prepared...
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By Scott Whitlock (Bio | Archive) "Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer worried on Thursday that Barack Obama backtracked "on his pledge to release pictures of US soldiers allegedly torturing terror suspects," fretting that this might be a...

Diane Sawyer

ABC - Good Morning America - Diane Sawyer.jpg

Lila Diane Sawyer (born December 22, 1945) is an American television journalist for ABC and co-anchor of its morning news show, Good Morning America. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. In 2007 she ranked 62nd on Forbes' "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list.

Sawyer was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, the daughter of Jean W. (née Dunagan), an elementary school teacher, and Erbon Powers "Tom" Sawyer, a judge. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Louisville, where her father rose to local prominence as a Republican politician and community leader; he was the Jefferson County Judge/Executive when he was killed in a car accident on Louisville's Interstate 64 in 1969 while still in office. E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, located in the Frey's Hill area of Louisville, is named in his honor.

Sawyer attended Seneca High School in the Buechel area of Louisville. In 1963, she won the "America's Junior Miss" scholarship pageant as a representative from the State of Kentucky, and in 1967, she received a degree in English from Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

She attended one semester of law school at the University of Louisville before turning to journalism.

Since 29 April 1988 she has been married to award-winning director Mike Nichols. They have no children. Nichols has Daisy (1974), Max (1964), and Jenny (1977) from his three previous marriages. Sawyer previously had relationships with Nixon aide Frank Gannon and U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke.

Sawyer served as a local TV news reporter and "weather girl" for WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1970, White House press secretary Ron Ziegler hired her to serve in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Sawyer stayed on through his resignation in 1974 and worked on the Nixon-Ford transition team in 1974-75, after which she decamped with Nixon to California and helped him write his memoirs, published in 1978. She also helped prepare Nixon for his famous set of television interviews with journalist David Frost in 1977. Years later, Sawyer would be suspected as the source of leaks of classified information (nicknamed "Deep Throat") to Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal. On his deathbed, Rabbi Baruch Korff, a longtime Nixon confidant and defender known as "Nixon's rabbi," said he believed Sawyer was Deep Throat. Sawyer laughed it off, and she was one of six people to request and receive a public denial from Woodward.

In 1978, Sawyer joined CBS as a political correspondent and became a co-anchor, with Bill Kurtis, of the CBS Morning News in 1981. In 1984, she became a correspondent for 60 Minutes, where she remained for five years.

In 1989, she moved to ABC to co-anchor Primetime Live with Sam Donaldson. From 1998-2000, she would become a co-anchor for ABC's 20/20, co-anchoring on Wednesdays with Donaldson and on Sundays with Barbara Walters.

In 1999, Sawyer returned to morning news, under a lucrative contract, as the co-anchor of Good Morning America, with Charles Gibson. The assignment was putatively temporary, but her success in the position, measured by a close in the gap with front-runner The Today Show on NBC, has kept her in the position far longer than anticipated.

Sawyer has interviewed many important political figures, such as former U.S. President George W. Bush, former U.S. President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton— first interview after the former's 1992 election to the U.S. Presidency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad— February 12, 2007, one of the first interviews granted to an American, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), First Female Speaker of the House, former Cuban President Fidel Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, U.S. Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, and former Panamanian General Manuel Noriega. She was allowed to take a special tour of North Korea.

From the entertainment world, Sawyer has interviewed singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson, actor Michael J. Fox, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres (after her coming-out), the Dixie Chicks, Britney Spears, Clay Aiken (twice), and actor Mel Gibson.

Sawyer has also interviewed infamous murderers Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten (in 1994) and Susan Atkins (in 2002).

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston at the 2nd Annual BET Honors

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, film producer, and former fashion model. Houston rose to international fame in the mid-1980s and her crossover success opened doors for many other African American women to find success in pop music and movies. She has been referred to as "The Voice", and is known for her "powerful, penetrating pop-gospel voice".

In the 1980s, Houston was one of the first African-American female artists to receive heavy rotation on MTV in its early years, even when the network was leaning more towards a white male rock dominated format. Her debut album became the biggest selling debut album of all time for a solo artist, her follow up album was the first album by a female artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and she holds a record seven consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Houston continued her success into Hollywood in the 1990s, starting with the box office hit The Bodyguard. The soundtrack to the movie is the best-selling soundtrack of all time, and the single "I Will Always Love You" the best-selling single by a female artist and 3rd best-selling song in the history of music. She continued the decade with other successful and culturally significant projects before returning to the studio. Houston is the fourth best-selling female recording artist in the U.S according to the RIAA, and is "The Most Awarded Female Artist of All Time" according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

After Houston married former R&B singer Bobby Brown at the height of her career, rumors of drug abuse started to affect her popularity. This led to a decline in her public image and her album sales dropped during from 2000 to 2008, with stories regularly appearing in the tabloid press. After successful trips to rehab, Houston divorced Brown and gained custody of their only daughter in 2006. Her seventh studio album is scheduled for release in 2009.

Whitney Houston was born in a rough neighborhood in the projects of Newark, New Jersey. She is the third and youngest child of John and gospel singer Cissy Houston. Her mother, along with cousin Dionne Warwick and Godmother Aretha Franklin are all notable figures in the gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul genres. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle class area in East Orange, New Jersey when she was four. At the age of eleven, Houston began to follow in her mothers footsteps and started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". When Houston was a teenager, her parents divorced and she continued to live with her mother. She attended a Roman Catholic single-sex high school, Mount Saint Dominic Academy, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she describes as the "sister she never had." While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. In addition to her mother, Franklin, and Warwick, Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of which would have an impact on her as a singer and performer.

Houston spent some of her teenage years touring stripclubs with her mother while Cissy was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with her mother. In 1977, at age fourteen, she was the featured lead vocalist on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party" (the group is known for their 1978 hit "Let's All Chant"). Zager subsequently offered to help obtain a recording contract for the young singer, but Cissy declined, wanting her daughter to finish school first. Then in 1978, at age fifteen, Houston sang background vocals on Chaka Khan's hit single "I'm Every Woman", a song she would later turn into a hit for herself on her monstrous-selling soundtrack album The Bodyguard. She also would sing back-up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson. In the early 1980s, Houston then started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in Seventeen Magazine and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine. She also appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink commercial. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Bienhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, which was credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad "Memories". Robert Christgau of the The Village Voice called her contribution "one of the most gorgeous ballads you've ever heard".

Houston had previously been offered several recording agencies (Michael Zager in 1980 and Elektra Records in 1981). In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records, saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed. He convinced Clive Davis, Arista's label head, to take time to see Houston perform. Davis too was impressed after the performance and offered her a worldwide recording contract, which Houston signed. Later that year, she made her national televised debut alongside Davis on the The Merv Griffin Show.

Houston signed with Arista in 1983 but did not begin work on her album immediately. Arista put forth the deal to make sure no other label signed the singer from under them. Davis wanted to find the right material and right producers for Houston's debut album. Some producers were not deemed right by the label, others had to pass on the project due to prior commitments. Houston first recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled "Hold Me", which appeared on his album, Love Language. The single, released in 1984, gave Houston her first taste of success, becoming a Top 5 R&B hit. It would also appear on her debut album when released in 1985.

With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson and Narada Michael Walden, Houston's self-titled 1985 debut album was released in February 1985. Rolling Stone Magazine praised the new talent, calling her "one of the most exciting new voices in years" while The New York Times called the album "an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent." After the dance-funk single "Someone For Me" failed to chart in both the US and UK, the album initially sold modestly and failed to make an impact. The plan was to first appeal to a black audience, hence the release of the next single, the soulful ballad "You Give Good Love", which peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 while going #1 on the R&B Charts. As a result, the album began selling and climbing the charts while Houston continued promoting the album touring night clubs in the US. With success on the R&B Charts, Davis wanted Houston to crossover to a broader audience. She began performing on popular night shows that usually weren't open to many black acts. The jazz-pop ballad "Saving All My Love for You" was released next and would become Houston's first #1 hit single in both the US and the UK. She was now an opening act for singer Jeffrey Osborne on his nationwide tour. At the time, MTV had received harsh criticism for not playing enough videos by African American artists while favoring rock acts. The next single, "How Will I Know", peaked at #1 and would introduce Houston to the MTV audience thanks to its video. This would make the singer one of the first African American female artists to receive heavy rotation on the network. By 1986, a year after its initial release, Whitney Houston topped the Billboard 200 album chart and stayed there for 14 consecutive weeks. The final single, "Greatest Love of All," became Houston's biggest hit at the time after peaking #1 and remaining there for three weeks. Houston had established a cross-over base and was now able to headline her own tour thus embarking on her Greatest Love Tour. The album had become an international success, selling over fourteen million copies in the United States alone (certiefied diamond) and becoming the best-selling debut album of all time by a female artist. To date, the album has sold approximately over 30 million copies worldwide.

At the 1986 Grammy Awards ceremony, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year. She was ineligible for the Best New Artist category due to her previous duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. She won her first Grammy award for 'Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female' for "Saving All My Love for You". At the same award show she also performed that Grammy-winning hit; the performance later won her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. Houston won seven American Music Awards in 1986, and an MTV Video Music Award. The album's popularity would also carry over to the 1987 Grammy Awards when "Greatest Love of All" would receive a Record of the Year nomination. Houston's debut is currently listed as one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's Definitive 200 list. Whitney Houston's grand entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today. Following Houston's breakthrough, other African-American female artists such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker were able to find notable success in popular music.

Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987. The album featured production from Masser, Kashif and Walden again, as well as Jellybean Benitez. Many critics complained that the material was too similar to her previous album. Rolling Stone said, "the narrow channel through which this talent has been directed is frustrating." Still, the album was an enormous success. Houston became the first female artist in music history to debut at number one on the US and UK album chart while also hitting number-one in several other countries around the world. The album's first four singles, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100, which gave her a total of seven consecutive number-one hits, thus breaking the record of six previously shared by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. The album's fifth, and final single, "Love Will Save the Day" also became a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100. Whitney has been certified diamond in the US for sales of over ten million copies. To date, the album has sold approximately 25 million copies worldwide.

At the Grammy Awards in 1988, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year, winning her second Grammy for 'Best Female Pop Vocal Performance' for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)". Following the release of the album, Houston embarked on the Moment of Truth World Tour which was one of the ten highest grossing concert tours of 1987. The success of the tour and Houston's albums helped make her one of the top 10 highest earning entertainers according to Forbes Magazine. She was the highest earning African-American woman and the second highest entertainer after Bill Cosby. The list included her concert grosses during 1986 and 1987.

Houston was a supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement. During her modeling days, the singer refused to work with any agencies who did business with a then apartheid South Africa. In June 1988, during the European leg of her tour, Houston joined other musicians to perform a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate a then imprisoned Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday. Over 72,000 people filled Wembley Stadium, and over a billion people tuned in worldwide as the rock concert raised over $1 million for charities while bringing awareness to apartheid. Houston then flew back to the US for a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The show was a benefit concert that helped raise over $300 million to the United Negro College Fund. In the same year, she recorded a song for NBC's coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, "One Moment in Time", which became a Top 5 hit in the U.S., while reaching number one in the UK and Germany. With her current world tour continuing overseas, Houston was still one of the top 10 highest earning entertainers for 1988-1989 according to Forbes.

In 1989, Houston formed The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, a non-profit organization that has raised funds for the needs of children around the world. The organization cares for homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment.

With the success of her first two albums, Houston was undoubtedly an international crossover superstar, the biggest since Michael Jackson, appealing to all demographics. However, some black critics complained that she was selling out. They noted that her singing on record lacked the soul that was present during her live concerts. At the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, when Houston's name was called out for a nomination, a few in the audience jeered. Houston defended herself against the criticism, stating "if you're gonna have a long career, there's a certain way to do it, and I did it that way. I'm not ashamed of it." Still, Houston took a more urban direction with her third studio album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, released in November 1990. Houston produced and chose producers for this project and as a result, it featured production and collaborations with L.A. Reid and Babyface, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder. The album showed Houston's versatility on a new batch of tough rhythmic grooves, soulful ballads and up-tempo dance tracks. Reviews were mixed. Rolling Stone felt it was her "best and most integrated album". while Entertainment Weekly, called Houston's shift towards an urban direction "superficial". The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to be certified four times platinum in America while selling ten million total worldwide. The first two singles, the new jack swing "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and the gospel-tinged "All The Man That I Need", each hit number one on both the Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. The third and fourth singles, "Miracle"; and "My Name Is Not Susan" peaked at numbers nine and twenty, respectively. A fifth single, "I Belong to You", peaked in the Top 10 on the R&B charts, while yet a sixth single, the duet with Stevie Wonder entitled, "We Didn't Know", made the R&B Top 20.

Houston performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in January 1991. VH1 listed the performance as the 12th greatest moment that rocked tv. Her recording of the song was released as a commercial single, reaching the Top 20 on the US Hot 100 making her the only act to turn the national anthem into a pop hit. Houston donated her share of the proceeds to the Red Cross. As a result, the singer was named to the Red Cross Board of Governors for her efforts. Later that year, Houston put together her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Gulf War and their families. The free concert took place at the Norfolk Air Force Base in Norfolk, Virginia in front of 3,500 people. HBO descrambled the concert so that it was free for everyone the watch. Houston's concert gave HBO its highest ratings ever. She then embarked on the I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour, but it didn't sell out as much as her previous tours.

Throughout the '80s, Houston was romantically linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy, whom she dated. She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown (formerly of New Edition) at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. After a three year courtship, the two were married on July 18, 1992. Nearly a year later, Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, her first child, his fourth, on 5 March. Brown would go on to have several run-ins with the law, including some jail time.

With the huge success of her first two albums, movie offers came from Robert De Niro, Quincy Jones, and Spike Lee, though she felt the time wasn't right. Houston’s first film role was in The Bodyguard, released in 1992 and co-starring Kevin Costner. Houston plays Rachel Marron, a star who is stalked by a crazed fan and hires a bodyguard to protect her. The film was successful at the box office, grossing more than $121 million in the U.S. and $410 million worldwide thanks in large to the success of Houston's soundtrack to the film. It is currently among the top 100 highest grossing films worldwide and USA Today listed it as one of the 25 most memorable movie moments of the last 25 years. The movie is also notable for not mentioning or explaining its interracial aspect. Houston's mainstream appeal allowed people to look at the movie color-blind. Still, controversy arose as some felt the film's ads intentionally hid Houston's face to hide the film's interracial aspect. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine in 1993, the singer commented that "people know who Whitney Houston is—I'm black. You can't hide that fact." Despite the film's success, the reviews were mixed, and Houston received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress. The Washington Post said Houston is "doing nothing more than playing Houston, comes out largely unscathed if that is possible in so cockamamie an undertaking" and The New York Times said she lacked passion with her co-star.

The film's soundtrack was also a worldwide success. Houston executive produced and contributed six songs for the motion picture's adjoining soundtrack album. It featured production from David Foster. Entertainment Weekly said the two cover songs are "artistically satisfying". Rolling Stone said it is "nothing more than pleasant, tasteful and urbane". The soundtrack's lead single was "I Will Always Love You", written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton in 1974 . Some, including Foster and radio programers, were skeptical that the song would fare well at radio due to Houston's a capella intro. Still, the record company took the risk and released it as the first single and it became a massive international hit. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a then-record-breaking 14 weeks, number one on the R&B chart for a then-record-breaking 11 weeks, and number one on the Adult Contemporary charts for five weeks. This allowed to become the first single to top those three charts simultaneously for five weeks. The song also hit number-one in nearly every other country worldwide. The single itself has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling single by a female artist. The soundtrack debuted at #1 and remained there for twenty non-consecutive weeks and became one of the fastest selling albums ever. At one point the soundtrack sold over a million copies in a week, becoming the first album to do so. With the follow-up singles "I'm Every Woman", a Chaka Khan cover, and "I Have Nothing" both peaking in the top five, Houston became the first female artist to ever have three singles in the Top 20 simultaneously. The album was certified 17x platinum in the United States with worldwide sales of forty-two million, and is the top selling soundtrack album ever, and the 3rd overall best selling album in history, after Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and AC/DC's "Back In Black". Houston won three Grammys for the album, including two of the Academy's highest honors, Album of the Year and Record of the Year. In addition, Houston won 8 American Music Awards, including the Award of Merit, and a BRIT award. Following the success of the project, Houston embarked on another expansive global tour in 1993 and 1994. Her concerts, movie, and recording grosses made her the third highest earning female entertainer of 1993-1994, just behind Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand according to Forbes. Houston finished fifth in Entertainment Weekly's annual "Entertainer of the Year" ranking. and according to Premier Magazine, Houston was one of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood.

In October 1994, Houston was invited to perform at a state dinner at the White House honoring newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela. At the end of her world tour, Houston performed three concerts in South Africa to honor President Mandela, playing to over 200,000 people. This would make the singer the first major musician to visit the newly unified and apartheid free nation following Mandela's winning election. The concert was broadcaast live on HBO with funds of the concerts being donated to various charities in South Africa.</ref name=southafrica> The event was considered the nation's "biggest media event since the inauguration of Nelson Mandela".

In 1995, Houston starred alongside Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon in her second film Waiting to Exhale; a motion picture about four African-American women struggling with relationships. Houston plays the lead character Savannah Jackson, a TV producer in love with a married man. She chose the role because she saw the film as "a breakthrough for the image of black women because it presents them both as professionals and as caring mothers". The movie and its soundtrack struck a chord with African Americans and is considered a cultural classic. After opening at #1 and grossing $67 million in the US at the box office and $82 million worldwide, it proved that a movie primarily targeting a black audience can cross over to success, while paving the way for other all-black movies such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back and the Tyler Perry movies that have become popular in the 2000s. The film is also notable for its portrayal of black women as strong middle class citizens as oppose to stereotypes. The reviews were mainly positive for the ensemble cast. The New York Times said "Ms. Houston has shed the defensive hauteur that made her portrayal of a pop star in "The Bodyguard" seem so distant." Houston was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress In A Motion Picture, but lost to her co-star Basset.

In 1996, Houston starred in the holiday comedy The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington. She plays a gospel-singing wife of a reverend. Houston earned $10 million for the role, making her one of the highest paid actress in Hollywood at the time and the highest earning African American actress in Hollywood. The movie, with its all African-American cast, was a moderate success, earning approximately $50 million at the U.S. box offices. The movie gave Houston her strongest reviews so far. The San Francisco Chronicle said Houston "is rather angelic herself, displaying a divine talent for being virtuous and flirtatious at the same time" and that she "exudes gentle yet spirited warmth, especially when praising the Lord in her gorgeous singing voice." Houston was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award and won for Outstanding Actress In A Motion Picture.

In 1997, Houston's production company changed it's name to BrownHouse Productions and was joined by Debra Martin Chase. Their goal was "to show aspects of the lives of African-Americans that have not been brought to the screen before" while improving how African-Americans are portrayed in film and television. Their first project was a made-for-television remake of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. In addition to co-producing, Houston starred in the movie as the Fairy Godmother along with Brandy, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bernadette Peters. Houston was initially offered the role of Cinderella in 1993, but other projects intervened. The film is notable for its multi-racial cast and nonstereotypical message. An estimated 60 million viewers tuned into the special giving ABC its highest TV ratings in 16 years. The movie received seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy, while winning Outstanding Art Direction in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Special.

Houston and Chase then obtained the rights to the story of Dorothy Dandridge. Houston was to play Dandridge, who was the first African American actress to be nominated for an Oscar. She wanted the story told with dignity and honor. However, Halle Berry also had rights to the project and she got her version going first. Later that year, Houston paid tribute to her idols such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Billie Holliday by performing their hits during the three night HBO Concert Classic Whitney, live from Washington, D.C.. The special raised over $300,000 for the Children's Defense Fund.

After spending much of the early and mid 1990s working on motion pictures and their adjacent soundtrack albums, Houston's first studio album in eight years, the critically acclaimed My Love Is Your Love, was released in November 1998. Though originally slated to be a greatest hits album with a handful of new songs, recording sessions were so fruitful, enough material was produced for a new full-length studio album. Recorded and mixed in only six weeks, it featured production from Rodney Jerkins, Wyclef Jean and Missy Elliott. The album had a more funkier and edgier sound than past releases and saw Houston handling urban dance, hip hop, reggae, mid-tempo R&B, torch songs, and ballads all with great dexterity. The album's first single, "When You Believe" (a duet with Mariah Carey for 1998s The Prince of Egypt soundtrack), became an international hit as it peaked in the Top 10 in several countries, the Top 20 in the US and won an Academy Award, while the album debuted at #13. The next three singles would all reach the Top Five. "Heartbreak Hotel", which featured Faith Evans and Kelly Price reached number 2 on the Hot 100, while topping the R&B chart for seven weeks. "It's Not Right but It's Okay", which won Houston her sixth Grammy Award; and "My Love Is Your Love" both reached number four and also became international hits as did the previous two singles. The album's fifth single, "I Learned from the Best", became a moderate hit, peaking at number twenty-seven. All singles, except "When You Believe", also became number one hits on the U.S. Dance/Clubplay Chart. The album went on to be certified four times platinum in the U.S., with worldwide sales of ten million. The album gave Houston some of her strongest reviews ever. Rolling Stone said Houston was singing "with a bite in her voice" and The Village Voice called it "Whitney's sharpest and most satisfying so far". In 1999, Houston participated in VH-1's Divas’ Live '99, alongside Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner, Cher. The same year, Houston hit the road with her 70 date My Love Is Your Love worldwide tour. The European leg was Europe's highest grossing arena tour of the year.

In April 2000, Whitney: The Greatest Hits was released. The double disc set peaked at number five in America and reached number one on the UK chart. While the ballads were left unchanged, the album is notable for featuring house/club remixes of many of Houston's up-tempo hits, in place of their original version. Also included on the album were four new songs: "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (a duet with Enrique Iglesias), "Same Script, Different Cast" (a duet with Deborah Cox), "If I Told You That" (a duet with George Michael), and "Fine", all of which failed to crack the US Top 40, but were hits in the UK and several European countries. Along with the album, an accompanying DVD was also released of the music videos to Houston's greatest hits. The greatest hits album was certified triple platinum in the U.S., with worldwide sales of ten million. Houston and Chase, along with Warner Brothers, were then set to produce a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle about a 1960s singing group of three sisters in Harlem. Aaliyah, who was to star in the remake, was killed in a plane crash in 2001 before production began.

In August 2001, Houston signed the biggest record deal in music history with Arista/BMG. She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties.

Though Houston was seen as a good girl with a perfect image in the '80s and early '90s, during the late '90s many noted a change in her behavior. She was often hours late for interviews, photo shoots, rehearsals, while cancelling concerts and talk-show appearances. With the missed performances and weight loss, people began to wonder if something was wrong, and rumors began of drug use with her husband. On January 11, 2000, airport security discovered marijuana in both Houston's and husband Bobby Brown's luggage at a Hawaiian airport, but the two boarded the plane and departed before authorities could arrive. Charges were later dropped against her and Brown but rumors of drug usage among the couple would continue to surface. Two months later, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Houston had been scheduled to perform at the event, but did not attend. Shortly after, Houston was scheduled to perform at the Academy Awards but was fired from the event by musical director and long time friend Burt Bacharach. Though her publicist cited throat problems as the reason for the cancellation, many speculated it was drugs. In Steve Pond's book "The Big Show: High Times And Dirty Dealings Backstage At The Academy Awards", it was revealed that "Houston's voice was shaky, she seemed distracted and jittery, and her attitude was casual, almost defiant" and that while Houston was to sing "Over The Rainbow", she would start singing a different song. Houston herself would later admit to being fired. Later that year, Houston's long time executive assistant and best friend Robyn Crawford resigned from Houston's management company.

In August 2001, Houston signed the biggest record deal in music history with Arista/BMG. She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties. She later made an appearance at Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special. Her shockingly thin frame further spurred rumors of drug use. Her publicist said "Whitney has been under stress due to family matters, and when she is under stress she doesn't eat." The singer was scheduled for a second performance the following night but canceled. Within weeks, Houston's rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" would be re-released after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The song peaked at # 6 this time on the US Hot 100. Houston would donate her portion of the proceeds.

In 2002, Houston became involved in a legal dispute with John Houston Enterprise. Although the company was started by her father to manage her career, it was now actually run by company president Kevin Skinner. He filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit and sued for $100 million (but lost), stating that Houston owed his company previously unpaid compensation for helping to negotiate her $100 million contract with Arista Records and for sorting out legal matters. Houston claimed that her 81 year old father had nothing to do with the lawsuit, it was Skinner. Although Skinner tried to claim otherwise, John Houston was never at any court appearances. Houston's father was ill at the time, and died in February 2003. The lawsuit was dismissed on April 5, 2004, and Skinner was awarded nothing.

Also in 2002, Houston did an interview with Diane Sawyer to support her upcoming album. During the prime time special, Houston spoke on various topics including rumored drug use, and marriage. She was asked about the ongoing drug rumors and replied "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack." The line would become infamous. Houston, to her credit, admitted to using various substances at times.

In December 2002, Houston released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney. The album included productions from then-husband Bobby Brown, as well as Missy Elliott, and Babyface, while marking the first time Houston did not produce with Clive Davis. It received mixed reviews upon release. Rolling Stone said the album "only shows an artist vainly trying to reach for what her future once could have been" while The San Francisco Chronicle said the album actually does "show signs of life, but not enough to declare a resurrection." The album had an impressive debut at #9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the highest opening week sales of any album she had ever released. However, all of the singles, "Whatchulookinat", "One of Those Days", and "Try It on My Own" failed to reach the top forty on the Hot 100 (they would see somewhat better performance on the R&B Chart.) All three singles (along with "Love That Man") would also become hits on the US Dance/Clubplay Chart with three of the four hitting #1 on that chart. Just Whitney would be certified platinum in the US and have cumulative worldwide sales of over three million, and would be Houston's lowest sales of any commercial studio album.

In late 2003, Houston released One Wish: The Holiday Album, a specialty album of traditional Christmas songs. Houston produced the album with Gorden Chambers and Mervyn Warren. The album received good reviews (The New York Times praised the "lavish swoops, the sultry whispers, the gospelly asides and the meteoric crescendos.") The single "One Wish (for Christmas)" reached the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary Chart as the album sold approximately 400,000 copies in the US. The Christmas album eventually became certified gold in the US, and sold over one million copies worldwide.

Houston spent most of 2004 touring Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Russia. In September 2004, she gave a surprise performance at the World Music Awards, in tribute to long time friend Clive Davis. Houston received a thunderous standing ovation for her performance. After the show, Davis and Houston announced plans to go into studio to work on her new album. However, no album was released.

In early 2004, husband Bobby Brown starred in his own reality TV program Being Bobby Brown (on the Bravo network), which provided a view into the domestic goings-on in the Brown household. Though it was Brown's vehicle, Houston was a prominent figure throughout the show. The series, which aired in 2005, featured Houston at, what some say, her lowest moments and many wondered why she took part in it. The Hollywood Reporter said it was "undoubtedly the most disgusting and execrable series ever to ooze its way onto television" Despite the perceived train wreck nature of the show, it gave Bravo its highest ratings in its time slot. The show was not renewed for a second season after Houston stated she would no longer appear in the show, and Brown and Bravo could not come to an agreement for another season.

Houston filed for separation from him in September 2006 following trips to rehab. The following month, on October 16, 2006, Houston filed for divorce from Brown. On February 1, 2007, Houston asked the court to fast track their divorce. The divorce became finalized on April 24, 2007, with Houston granted custody of the couple's daughter.

In May 2007, Brown sued Houston in Orange County, California court in an attempt to change the terms of their custody agreement. Brown also sought child and spousal support from Houston. In the lawsuit, Brown claimed that financial and emotional problems prevented him from properly responding to Houston's divorce petition. Brown lost at his court hearing as the judge dismissed his appeal to overrule the custody terms, leaving Houston with full custody and Brown with no spousal support.

In March 2007, Clive Davis announced that the singer would be heading into the studio to record her first studio album in 4 years. Though the release date and title are yet to be determined, reported producers include will.i.am, Ne-Yo, and John Legend among others. In the meantime, Arista Records released The Ultimate Collection in October 2007. The compilation included all of Houston's hit singles on one CD, and also included a bonus DVD of music videos. It peaked at #3 in the UK. The compilation was not released in the U.S.

In February 2009, Houston performed at Clive Davis's "Pre-Grammy Gala". Houston performed a four-song set, belting out her classic hits, "I Will Always Love You", "I Believe In You And Me", "It's Not Right But It's Okay" and closing the set with a rousing version of "I'm Every Woman". Onlookers included Paul McCartney, Jamie Foxx, Antonio Banderas, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Evans, Fantasia and Barry Manilow.

Clive Davis announced at rehearsals for the event that Houston will be recording a song called "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" with David Foster in the near future. Other people said to be working with Houston for her upcoming album include Akon, R Kelly, Stargate, Bryan Michael Cox, Timbaland and Ne-Yo.

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The Early Show

The Early Show logo used from Fall 2002 until October 27, 2006

The Early Show (or The CBS Early Show) is an American television morning news talk show broadcast by CBS from New York City, 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday. In some markets, the Saturday version may not air. Having premiered on November 2, 1999, it is the youngest of the major networks' morning shows, although CBS has programmed in that timeslot continuously since 1965.

The Early Show, like many of its predecessors, has traditionally run third in the ratings to its rivals, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America.

CBS has made several attempts at morning shows since 1954. First came The Morning Show (1954–1956), originally hosted by Walter Cronkite and very similar to The Today Show in fashion (it too, ran for two hours from 7-9 a.m. until being reduced to one hour to accommodate the premiere of Captain Kangaroo in 1955). Additional hosts over the years included Jack Paar, John Henry Faulk, and Dick Van Dyke. Next came Good Morning! with Will Rogers, Jr., which lasted only fourteen months on the air before being replaced briefly by a morning variety hour headlined by Jimmy Dean. After the demise of The Morning Show, CBS aired a 15 minute news broadcast at 7:45 a.m. with Stuart Novins, preceding Captain Kangaroo under the CBS Morning News title.

CBS would not make any serious attempt to program against Yesterday for eight years. On September 2, 1963, The CBS Morning News debuted with Anenigma, similar to its evening counterpart in the way that it was also a hard newscast featuring various hosts and correspondents from CBS News over the years. It started out as a half-hour broadcast anchored by Mike Wallace and airing Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. Coincidentally, it replaced a CBS daytime magazine program called Calendar, which was hosted by Wallace's future 60 Minutes colleague Harry Reasoner. In August 1965, upon discovering that they could make more money airing reruns of I Love Lucy in the 10:00 a.m. slot, CBS moved the broadcast start time to 7:30 a.m. Wallace only lasted a year with the change in hours and eventually tired of the grind, leaving to cover Richard Nixon's comeback for CBS News. Wallace suggested Los Angeles newsman Joseph Benti as his replacement.

It was during Joseph Benti's run (through August 28, 1970) that the program became the first regularly-scheduled one-hour newscast ever on network television on March 31, 1969. Until 1981, it would precede Captain Kangaroo on the CBS morning schedule. The new hour format now featured John Hart reading the news from Washington and CBS News Moscow correspondent Hughes Rudd as an occasional contributor. After Hart replaced Benti as the main anchor in New York, the Washington anchor desk was assumed by Bernard Kalb until 1972 and Nelson Benton for a year after that.

On August 6, 1973, after Hart left for NBC, in an effort to emulate The Today Show, Rudd was teamed up with former Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn. Unfortunately for CBS, within days the hugely-publicized pairing of what was dubbed by the press "the beauty and the grouch" (referring to Quinn and Rudd respectively) turned out to be a disaster, mainly due to Quinn's lack of television experience and obvious sloppiness. Quinn was gone after six months, leaving after the February 1, 1974 telecast. A much more experienced correspondent, Bruce Morton, later took over the Washington desk, remaining there until 1977. During that period, the newscast had evolved into a well-crafted package delivered in a straightforward manner, much like Cronkite's evening newscast. Despite the anchor turnover through the years, the broadcast had set a consistent tone which emphasized news and ideas over celebrity gossip or self-help tips. The anchor desk was subsequently shared by the team of Lesley Stahl and Richard Threlkeld, while Morton and Rudd returned to both feature reporting and commentary respectively.

On January 29, 1979, CBS revamped the program premiering Morning, which was a daily version of Sunday Morning, and titled in accordance to the day of the week (Monday Morning, Tuesday Morning, etc.). The weekday Morning series competed with Good Morning America and The Today Show. Originally it was anchored by Bob Schieffer, but Sunday Morning host Charles Kuralt took over the daily show as well in the fall of 1980. The program featured long pieces from CBS News bureaus, and many viewed it as a highbrow, classy newscast in the best CBS tradition. Still, despite critical acclaim, the show remained dead last in the ratings, and CBS was under more pressure from affiliates to present a more viable morning competitor. So on September 28, 1981, Morning dropped the days of the week from its title (except for Sunday Morning), and was extended to 90 minutes and added Diane Sawyer as co-host; in the process, Captain Kangaroo was reduced to a half-hour daily and pushed to an earlier time period (7:00 a.m.). On January 18, 1982, again at the expense of Captain Kangaroo, Morning was lengthened to the same two-hour format that Today and GMA were utilizing. Along the way it reassumed the CBS Morning News title. An understandably exhausted Kuralt was relieved of his duties on the weekday broadcasts in March 1982, at a time when a restrucuring on the Evening News (no doubt owing to new anchor Dan Rather's ratings problems) forced his popular On the Road segments to be gradually phased out. By this time management decided that morning news programming should be more competitive and hired Bill Kurtis, who was then anchoring WBBM-TV's highly-rated evening newscasts in Chicago, as Sawyer's co-host.

By the fall of 1982, Captain Kangaroo had disappeared from the daily schedule and the new team of Kurtis and Sawyer were anchoring three hours of news in the morning, as they were also seen on the CBS Early Morning News an hour earlier. Their teamwork helped boost the show's ratings, albeit briefly; George Merlis, a former GMA producer hired to revamp the broadcast, is also credited by most network insiders with nearly doubling viewership numbers by March 1983. The numbers continued to climb during the summer; during one week in August 1983 it passed The Today Show for the second place spot behind GMA, and was in closing distance behind the latter program for the #1 spot before it dropped back to third place again. After Merlis was relieved from his duties for his trouble, Sawyer, tired of the morning grind, left in the fall of 1984 to become the first female correspondent on 60 Minutes.

CBS News correspondents Jane Wallace and Meredith Vieira briefly alternated as interim co-host in an on-air try-out that lasted several months, but both were passed over for the permanent spot. Instead, CBS settled for former Miss America and NFL Today co-host Phyllis George, who was given a three-year contract following a two-week trial run. Unfortunately, like Sally Quinn before her, George turned out to be a disastrous choice. There was no chemistry between her and Kurtis onscreen (in fact, they reportedly never got along off-camera either), and it was obvious (or due, to depending on one's point-of-view at the time) that despite her career as a sportscaster, and host of Candid Camera she had no news experience at all. As a result, the CBS Morning News under Kurtis and George became a case study in how not to manage a news organization.

The low point of her very brief tenure came on May 14, 1985 during George's interview with false rape accuser Cathleen Crowell Webb and the man whom she had falsely accused, Gary Dotson. In an effort to get the two to make amends to each other, George made a simple suggestion: "How about a hug?" Both Webb and Dotson graciously refused. That infamous interview alienated audiences and was blasted by critics, helping to put an unpleasant close to George's television career at that point. A very unhappy Bill Kurtis subsequently departed from the show and resigned from CBS News in July, returning to Chicago and his old anchor spot at WBBM-TV. Once again Bob Schieffer served as a brief replacement. Phyllis George eventually left CBS for good that fall.

After some convulsions on the part of both CBS management (who blanched at paying three million dollars for someone to do nothing) and George, Forrest Sawyer and Maria Shriver made a grim effort to broadcast a respectable show for a year after that. However CBS News management had other ideas in September 1986; they announced that the still-unsuccessful show would be put under the entertainment division as part of another drastic format change. Many employees were appalled; as medical correspondent Dr. Bob Arnot put it, "They shot it in the head." In the interim, Bruce Morton returned briefly to share the duties with Early Morning News anchor Faith Daniels until the new format was ready.

On January 12, 1987, The Morning Program made its debut hosted by actress Mariette Hartley and Rolland Smith, former longtime anchor at WCBS-TV in New York. Mark McEwen handled the weather, while Bob Saget did comedy bits; The show ran for 90 minutes behind a briefly-expanded 90-minute CBS Early Morning News, which had dropped "Early" from its title. However, The Morning Program, with its awkward mix of news, entertainment, and comedy, became the joke of the industry, receiving its worst reviews and at one point plummeting to its lowest ratings in five years. The format was aborted and the time slot returned to the news division after a ten-and-a-half-month run. Hartley and Smith were dumped, while Saget left to star on the ABC sitcom, "Full House". A longtime producer summed up this version of the program upon its demise by saying, "...everyone thought we had the lowest ratings you could have in the morning. The Morning Program proved us wrong".

CBS This Morning made its debut in November 30, 1987, with hosts Harry Smith, former GMA news anchor Kathleen Sullivan, and Morning Program holdover Mark McEwen. Sullivan would be replaced by Paula Zahn on February 26, 1990. Beginning October 26, 1992, in an effort to stop affiliates from dropping the program, CBS allowed more participation from local stations. (Most affiliates have their own early morning newscast, which precedes the national news.) Despite a far more successful pairing in Smith, Paula Zahn, and weather anchor Mark McEwen, CBS This Morning remained stubbornly in third place. It was, however, far more competitive than any of its predecessors. A brand new set and live format introduced in October 1995 had little effect on the ratings.

In August 1996, the show was revamped again, as simply This Morning. Mark McEwen again remained on the show as weatherman. Harold Dow replacing Harry Smith as co-anchor in 1996, sharing the job with Erin Moriarty,who replaced Zahn, and Jane Robelot, news anchor Jose Diaz-Balart (succeeded by Cynthia Bowers and later Thalia Assuras, both anchors of the Morning News). Also, a new system was created where many of the local stations aired their own newscast from 7 to 8 a.m., with inserts from the national broadcast. Then from 8 to 9 a.m., affiliates air the second-half of the national broadcast uninterrupted. Ratings went up slightly, and at one point the show even moved ahead of Good Morning America in 1998. But it was also a brief ratings success, and This Morning became the immediate predecessor to The Early Show.

The Early Show began on November 2, 1999 (around the time Viacom purchased CBS) when CBS executives successfully lured former Today Show host Bryant Gumbel to head up the broadcast, teamed with newcomer Jane Clayson. The show was completely revamped, and affiliates were asked to carry the two-hour broadcast in its entirety as the original This Morning format was abandoned. Mark McEwen once again did the weather, and Julie Chen read the news. Ratings were not encouraging, and were actually lower than the show it had replaced, CBS This Morning. Gumbel left in 2002, and shortly thereafter Clayson and McEwen were replaced.

The new team consisted of Chen, former Biography and CBS This Morning host Harry Smith, former NBC Sports commentator Hannah Storm, former Dallas, Texas news anchor Rene Syler, and weatherman Dave Price. To keep affiliates happy, CBS went back to the local/national hybrid format. The show also had a number of "correspondents" who do short segments on specific issues; Martha Stewart, Martha Quinn, Bobby Flay, and Bob Vila, among others, have been featured in this role. Susan Koeppen (2004-–) is the consumer correspondent.

Stewart's participation garnered headlines on June 25, 2002, due to her obsessively chopping vegetables for a salad while refusing to answer Clayson's questions regarding her stock fraud scandal -- Stewart stopped contributing to the program after the appearance, which was immortalized in an NBC TV-movie of Stewart's life a few months later.

Much like NBC's The Today Show and The Tonight Show, the title The Early Show is analogous to that of CBS' late-night talk show, Late Show.

The Early Show features celebrity interviews and light entertainment and news pieces. It usually places third in the ratings behind NBC's The Today Show and ABC's Good Morning America. In recent years, it has improved in the ratings, but not enough to win in the time period against the two other morning shows.

The Early Show's theme song was an instrumental version of Sting's 1999 hit, Brand New Day until late October 2006, when it was replaced by the CBS Evening News theme from James Horner.

On October 30, 2006, The Early Show received a revamp, featuring new graphics (with a new blue and orange color scheme instead of blue and yellow) and music similar to those used on the CBS Evening News (which were also used starting in early October on Up to the Minute and the CBS Morning News).

On December 4, 2006, it was announced that Rene Syler would leave the show by the end of the month (her last show was December 22). On December 7, 2006, CBS News named Russ Mitchell the news anchor. On November 28, 2007, it was announced that Hannah Storm was leaving her co-anchor chair; her last day was December 7, 2007. On December 5, 2007, CBS announced that Maggie Rodriguez would succeed Storm as co-anchor.

On January 7, 2008, The Early Show debuted a new set. During the month of December, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric shared its studio/set with The Early Show. In addition, the show abandoned the aforementioned local/national hybrid format and replaced it with a national format, similar to its network competitors. The ratings for the series have dropped since these changes were instituted; however, the gap between Early and second-place GMA has remained virtually consistent as all three morning shows have seen similar ratings erosion .

The Saturday edition of The Early Show premiered in September 1997 as CBS Saturday Morning. It is anchored by Chris Wragge of WCBS and Erica Hill of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°. WCBS' chief meteorologist Lonnie Quinn serves as weather anchor, and Priya David serves as the news anchor. The show features news and lifestyle segments, including Chef on a Shoestring (a cooking segment) and The Second Cup Cafe (a music segment).

As of 2008, The Saturday Early Show no longer carries a separate name from the weekday edition, and is introduced simply as The Early Show. The program is broadcast live beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET from the GM Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City, across the street from Central Park. It airs at various times through the country on most CBS stations. However depending on the time zone it may or not air.

The Early Show does not carry a Sunday edition, nor are there any plans for one in the near future, due to the continued success of CBS News Sunday Morning, which has a distinctly different format with long form journalism reports and in depth interview segments.

CBS has been the perennial third-place finisher in the morning race since 1976, placing second only a few times in the past 30 years. CBS beat Good Morning America for second place the weeks of January 17, 1977 and December 28, 1998. The Today Show was in first place both times. However, CBS outrated The Today Show for second spot over a few weeks in 1984 when Jane Pauley was on maternity leave. At that time, Good Morning America was #1.

In 2007, CBS sought to change the 3rd place position of The Early Show in September 2007 by hiring Shelly Ross, former executive producer of GMA from 1999–2004. Significant changes were made to the program as Ross asserted her influence. For instance, the network no longer allows the frequent local station breaks that were previously allowed during the former broadcast as of January 7th, 2008. CBS considers the removal of those breaks vital to creating a national profile for the program. However some CBS affiliates continue to air the full program on another co-owned sister station and continue to air their local morning news; WWL-TV in New Orleans had their morning news and The Early Show under the former hybrid format until moving the full Early Show to MyNetworkTV sister station WUPL in 2005 and expanding their successful local morning broadcast to four hours. Cincinnati, Ohio's WKRC-TV airs the full show on the CBS station with an hour of all-local news on the co-owned CW channel. Salt Lake City's KUTV (which was formerly owned by the network until 2007) continues to pre-empt the program's first hour despite the network's insistence.

Industry insiders considered Ross' influence to be a serious threat and bring the profile of the show up to make the program a true competitor to NBC's "Today", and ABC's "Good Morning America." However, after only six months, Ross was fired from the position, after frequent feuds with staff, including with Smith and Chen.

In 2008 TV season, The Early Show is showing ratings strength with double-digit increases compared with a year earlier. "Today" has averaged 6 million viewers (up 6%) and a 2.2 in adults 25-54 (flat). ABC's "Good Morning America" has averaged 4.9 million (up 1%) and a 1.7 in adults 25-54 (flat). "Early Show" has averaged 3.5 million (up 20%) and a 1.3 in adults 25-54 (up 30%).

Year-to-year, CBS' The Early Show cut the Total Viewer gap by 190,000 between 2nd place Good Morning America.

In Australia, The Early Show airs on Network Ten weekday mornings from 4.00am under the title "The CBS Early Show", with Fridays edition being held over to the following Monday. A national weather map of Australia is inserted during local affiliate cut-aways for weather. No local news is inserted, however. America's top 3 breakfast television programs air in Australia almost simultaneously, with NBC Today airing on the Seven Network at 4.00am and Good Morning America on Nine airing from 3.30am. Unlike the above, The Early Show is not condensed or edited. It is, however, pre-empted in most regional areas for paid and religious programming.

In the Philippines, it is currently being shown on The Lifestyle Network Tue to Sat 6 to 8 am (local time) .

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Primetime (TV series)

Primetime is a general-interest American news magazine show which debuted on ABC in 1989 with co-hosts Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer and originally had the title Primetime Live. Originally, the program was aired live on the ABC network and featured a live studio audience. The first interviews included Roseanne Barr and a piece on a Middle East hostage crisis reported by Chris Wallace. Donaldson and Sawyer would allow audience members to comment on the program and ask questions of the guests, who were usually interviewed live via satellite or in studio, a practice that resulted in many technical difficulties and easy satirization on Saturday Night Live. Internal conflicts between Sawyer and Donaldson later led them to be separated, and the audience eliminated. However, the program has always had some live elements when broadcast as Primetime Live, generally consisting of Donaldson reading the opening remarks of packaged stories and the opening title as Primetime... LIVE!.

Over time, live interviews were de-emphasized and hidden camera investigations began to occupy more of the schedule. One hidden camera investigation, of Food Lion, backfired on ABC when Food Lion sued. Food Lion sued for trespass and breach of loyalty, claiming that the report was produced under deceptive pretenses, and ABC employees hired by Food Lion wearing hidden cameras filmed other Food Lion employees without following proper notification procedures. Food Lion did not sue for libel, as the one-year statute of limitations had already run by the time it received all the footage shot by ABC. A jury awarded Food Lion $5.5 million, but later appeals by ABC to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals resulted in the damages reduced to $2.00.

In 1998, ABC, in an effort to consolidate all of their newsmagazines, canceled Primetime Live and combined it with ABC's other well-known newsmagazine, 20/20. The move was made to compete more effectively with NBC's Dateline, which ran multiple nights of the week. In 2000, however, ABC relaunched the program. It was renamed Primetime Thursday with Charles Gibson replacing Donaldson. Beginning in the 2004–2005 season, the show was known once again as Primetime Live, and announcements were made live in the Eastern Time Zone. Its pair of co-hosts from the previous season, Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, was replaced by the team of Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, Cynthia McFadden and John Quiñones. Beginning with the July 21, 2005, broadcast, the show's title has been Primetime .

While Primetime has never been a newsmagazine in the style of 60 Minutes, it has participated in the general trend of newsmagazines doing more tabloid programming. For example, it aired an interview with Corey Clark, an American Idol contestant who allegedly had a sexual affair with judge Paula Abdul. ABC has reduced Primetime to sporadic news specials beginning in the 2006 fall season. The show will most likely gain a regular time slot if a new drama gets canceled and is listed on ABC.com as a midseason replacement.

Primetime has drawn upon its unique innovation, creating limited-series programming with several in-depth analysis on provocative subjects. The broadcast also continues to produce breaking news specials, showcasing an unmatched skill in getting out ahead on any big story.

Primetime: What Would You Do? the hidden camera series sets up everyday scenarios and then captures people's reactions. Whether they're compelled to act or mind their own business, Primetime reports on their split-second - and often surprising - decision-making process.

Primetime: Medical Mysteries reports on some of the rarest disorders and syndromes in medicine today. The series examines cases that still leave scientists and doctors with unanswered questions when trying to explain the human body.

Primetime: The Outsiders features reports on people who live by their own rules and in their own worlds - worlds that the average person may find unimaginable. The limited series takes viewers behind closed doors and into the lives of people outside the bounds of conventional society.

Primetime: Family Secrets goes behind closed doors and sees first-hand the secrets most families would never talk about.

Primetime: Crime investigates crime in a whole new way by going deep inside real and provocative cases. In some episodes these involve unsolved cases where, for various reasons, the criminal has not been brought to justice. In other episodes the viewer will watch incriminating video of a crime made by the criminal himself. Primetime: Crime will retrace the twists and turns of cases, providing new clues and forensic evidence that could potentially solve crimes.

David Sloan is executive producer of Primetime. Robert Lange and Jessica Velmans are the senior producers.

ABC News programming is shown daily on the 24 hour news network Orbit News in Europe and the Middle East. This includes ABC Primetime.

In Australia, the program airs at 2pm Saturdays (Extended Edition) and 1.30pm Thursdays on Sky News Australia.

In Canada, Citytv does have rights to the show but only airs it when a limited series is scheduled. Primetime: What Would You Do? is currently on the air airing in simulcast with ABC.

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Shawn Sterling Welling

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Shawn Welling (born December 12, 1964) is an awarded film director, actor, producer and performer in the Houston, Texas area.

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Performance highlights includes Cirque du Soleil (Dralion) in which Shawn and his company were hired by Cirque to perform their Elements of earth show, and Good Morning America, which Diane Sawyer heralded Planet Funk as legendary. Shawn has co-hosted 2 ABC dance specials (one submitted for an Emmy) with Debra Duncan, as an NBC TV special with radio and TV personality Sam Malone. In 2000 Welling built Planet Funk Academy, which recently aired on the Bravo network in a 5 week series that was also highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show to a 5 million viewing audience. Shawn has recently produced a variety of successful master classes for the DisneyLion King dancers, the cast for the Broadway hit Oliver, and the well-known MTV star, Wade Robson, Brian Freidman and Dave Scott. Shawn has choreographed and performed in the Downtown Theater District for over a decade: 7 Hobby Center shows, 5 at Jones Hall and 5 at the Wortham Theater. Roger Clemens is just one of the celebrities who has hired Shawn and his team .

Recently, Shawn and 2 of his dancers visited with President George Bush senior in his office in regards to the acclaimed 2 hour rendition of Planet Funk's latest show Electric Light Circus which aided in the Tsunami Relief. H.P., Apple Computer, NASA, United Way, Second Baptist Church, Girl Scouts of the USA, and ConocoPhillips resemble the wide variety of clients that have hired Shawn, his company, and dedicated directors. Shawn Wellings latest endeavor is film production. Shawn recently directed his latest film "House of Dreams" which won a gold award at the WorldFest International Film Festival and highest honors, the platinum, as director for best docu-drama full feature film. "House of Dreams will be making a appearances Tribecca, Telluride and Sundance Film Festivals. Currently he is finishing his second film "The Messenger (360 days of Bolivar)" for release at WorldFest in April at the AMC theatre.

Shawn Sterling Welling Directed and Produced "The House of Dreams" in 2006. Synopsis: A multicultural dance studio, Planet Funk Academy, located in an upper-class Houston neighborhood, must fight a campaign to shut it down at City Hall. In the heart of the film, the fireworks are set off by real life confrontation between Dancers and City Council personnel in dramatic courtroom like settings. Amazing dance scenes, from hip-hop to ballroom are integrated throughout the film, as heartfelt stories from the dancers themselves vividly portray their struggles to prevail against overwhelming odds of cultural differences, powerful enemies and the city legal system itself.

He was awarded Best Director with a Gold Remi in 2006 at the Worldfest International Film Festival. Also, in 2007 he was awarded Best Director with a Platinum Remi at Worldfest International Film Festival.

WELLING FILMS IN CONJUNCTION WITH REAL TIME PICTURES PRESENT A SHAWN WELLING FILM. DIRECTOR: SHAWN STERLING WELLING PRODUCER: ROGER SCOTT BUDGE ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: MICHAEL BERRY EDITOR: SHAWN STERLING WELLING DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: ROGER SCOTT BUDGE MUSIC: SHAWN STERLING WELLING CAST: SHAWN WELLING, LINDSAY SLOTT, LENTON ALLEN, LIZ HEWETT, TESIA TRUITT, JOEL MARTINEZ, SHAINA PERRY, PAT GARRETT, MARIO JARAMILLO, WESTFIELD H.S. CHAMBER CHOIR, AND MICHAEL BERRY. ALSO STARRING, WADE ROBSON.

Synopsis: The Messenger, which is described as a docu-drama film, uses a documentary format to present the "End of the road." This concept is the basis that, according to the film there exist, "an intelligible spear whose center is everywhere." The film features short real life experiences and interviews of a myriad of individuals containing "personal transformation experience" with "spiritual messengers" of some dramatic nature in there life.

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Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols (born 6 November 1931) is an American television, stage and film director, writer, and producer. Nichols is one of the few people to have won all the major American entertainment awards: an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award.

Nichols was born Michael Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany, the son of Brigitte Landauer and Igor Nicholaievitch Peschkowsky, a physician. He and his German-Russian Jewish family moved to the United States to flee the Nazis in 1939 . He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1944. While attending the University of Chicago in the 1950s, he began work in improvisational comedy with the Compass Players, a precursor to The Second City, and later started the long-running Midnight Special folk music program on radio station WFMT.

Nichols formed a comedy team with Elaine May, with whom he appeared in nightclubs, on radio, released best-selling records, made guest appearances on several television programs and had their own show on Broadway, directed by Arthur Penn. They were accompanied by Chicago pianist Marty Rubenstein, host of the television show Marty's Place. Personal idiosyncrasies and tensions (the latter culminating in the out-of-town closing of A Matter of Position, a play written by May and starring Nichols) eventually drove the duo apart to pursue other projects in 1961. They later reconciled and worked together many times, with May scripting his films The Birdcage and Primary Colors. They appeared together at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural gala and in a 1980 New Haven stage revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Swoosie Kurtz and James Naughton.

Nichols was chosen to direct Neil Simon's Barefoot In The Park in 1963. He realized almost at once that directing was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Nichols's production of Simon's play was a blockbuster hit, running for 1530 performances. He went on to direct (and occasionally produce) many other Broadway hits, including several more by Simon. He has won numerous theatre awards, including the Tony Award for Best Direction for seven different productions.

Nichols' career as a film director began with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1966 for which he received an Oscar nomination, and The Graduate--the biggest hit film released in 1967--for which he won the Best Director Oscar. He's also won Emmy Awards for his direction of Wit (2001) and Angels in America (2003).

Nichols is a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He is also a founder (along with George Morrison and Paul Sills) of The New Actor's Workshop in New York City, where he occasionally teaches. These three world class Master Teacher/ Directors have coached the likes of Jeff Keogh from Melbourne, Australia; Matthew Clarke, from Vancouver, Canada; Damian (Maximum) Gerard Coyle from Belfast, Ireland; Kathy Hendrickson, Noelle Lynch, Jason Hale, Aditi Das, Josh Day, John Zibell, Caroline Sanchez, Martha Rainer, Douglas Gorenstein, Diane Paulis, Katie Caufield, David Turner, Brendon Bates and Matt Skollar of the USA including many others.

Nichols has been married four times. His first wife was Patricia Scott; they were married from 1957 to 1960. He then married Margo Callas in 1963, and they had a daughter, Daisy Nichols. His marriage to Callas ended in 1974. Annabel Davis-Goff, with whom he has two children, Max Nichols and Jenny Nichols, was his third wife. They were divorced in 1986. He has been married to his fourth and current wife, Good Morning America anchor Diane Sawyer since April 29, 1988.

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Source : Wikipedia