Brian Williams newsmagazine replaces Playboy Club


NBC has been staffing up for a challenger to CBS’ “60 Minutes.” The nation will get its first look at the primetime newsmagazine “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on Halloween, Monday, October 31st. It will take the 10 pm time slot currently occupied by the ratings-challenged “Playboy Club.”

Rock Center is the first new primetime broadcast launched by NBC News in nearly 20 years, the network noted. As the title indicates, it will be led by “NBC Nightly News” anchor and managing editor Brian Williams. It will feature Harry Smith (formerly of CBS News), Kate Snow and other correspondents and anchors of NBC News, including Meredith Vieira, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Richard Engel, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.
“Brian Williams already anchors America’s most watched, honored and respected nightly news broadcast. ‘Rock Center’ now gives him, and our all-star cast of journalists an opportunity to take viewers on a weekly journey of discovery,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News.

 “‘Rock Center’ will cover a slightly different world than anything else on television,” said Williams. “The format will be good, real, hard journalism – and then some. We intend to be the new home of quality journalism on a weekly basis, and on the web at all times.”

Broadcast live from the historic Studio 3B in Rockefeller Center, NBC News says the weekly, hour-long newsmagazine will be built around the week’s most provocative events, compelling coverage, and newsmaker interviews.

In addition to the weekly primetime broadcast, there will be constantly evolving digital editions of Rock Center with Brian Williams available online at and via the show’s iPad app.

RBR-TVBR observation: It is certainly no surprise that “The Playboy Club” has been canceled. Reruns of “Prime Suspect” will fill the time slot for three weeks until “Rock Center” is ready to go.

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