Friday, December 2, 2016

What Might've Been: The Rock & Roll Evening News (1986)

Imagine a newscast with a studio audience. Well, yeah, the Daily Show has that, but they weren't the first ones to try it.

In 1986, Andy Friendly, son of CBS' Fred Friendly, launched The Rock & Roll Evening News, a weekly, one hour program that was an amalgam of Entertainment Tonight and, well, American Bandstand, since there were musical performances sprinkled throughout the broadcast. Among the reporters was Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Senator Walter Mondale, who had failed in his bid for President two years earlier.

Unfortunately, while America had gotten their MTV and loved it, they weren't ready for a news magazine, airing at 11 pm (ET) or later on a Saturday night, that was posited to unseat NBC's long-running Saturday Night Live, which at the time had just started its 12th season.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds headline and bookend this sample episode. Mind the fact that the audio is a touch out of sync. Your announcer is Shadoe Stevens (Hollywood Squares).



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