Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: June 6, 1978 — present
Series status: Has not been cancelled
Hosts include: Harold Hayes, Robert Hughes, Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters, John Stossel, Diane Sawyer, Charles Gibson, Sam Donaldson, Connie Chung, Jack Ford, John Miller, Elizabeth Vargas, and Chris Cuomo.
TV show description:
This newsmagazine combines hard-hitting investigative reports, newsmaker interviews, and compelling human interest and feature stories. Named after the 20/20 measurement of visual acuity, the stories vary episode by episode.
The series was initially anchored by Harold Hayes, renowned editor of Esquire, and Robert Hughes, an art critic for Time. Featuring strange things like a claymation version of President Jimmy Carter singing, the debut received such harsh reviews that the program was quickly overhauled. It became a more traditional news magazine and semi-retired Hugh Downs was recruited and became the show’s sole host.
Downs remained with the series for 21 years. News veteran Barbara Walters began as a contributor in 1979 and then became Downs’ equal as an anchor in 1981. The two would remain together for 15 years, until Downs’ departure. Walters would remain until 2004. Regular contributor John Stossel became co-anchor in 2003 and stayed until he left the network in 2009. Elizabeth Vargas began anchoring in 2004 and Chris Cuomo joined her in 2009.
Other anchors have included Diane Sawyer (1998–2000), Charles Gibson (1998–2000), Sam Donaldson (1998–2000), Connie Chung (1998–2002), Jack Ford (2000–2001), and John Miller (2002–2003).
Image courtesy ABC.
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