ABC 2000 Today

ABC 2000 Today

infobox television
show_name = ABC 2000 Today

caption =
format = millennium television news special
runtime = 23 hours 10 minutes
creator =
starring = Peter Jennings
country = United States
location = Times Square Studios, Manhattan, New York (Primary)
network = ABC
first_aired = December 31, 1999 04:50 EST
last_aired = January 1, 2000 04:00 EST|

"ABC 2000 Today" was ABC News's coverage of the turn of the millennium from December 31, 1999 into January 1, 2000. Peter Jennings anchored the 23 hours and 10 minutes of broadcast in Times Square Studios in Manhattan, New York. ABC temporarily converted the Good Morning America marquee broadcast studio into a type of "millennium command center" that included a desk, where a standing Jennings spent most of his time, two lounge chairs, where Jennings would interview guests, a large screen with a time-zone included map of the world, a wall of clocks, and a make-shift newsroom where ABC News staffers would follow the latest developments.

Correspondents and Guests

Dick Clark did the countdown in Times Square, as always since his "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" shows first aired in 1972, and was credited as a correspondent. "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve" was not aired as a result of the broadcast. Jack Ford was stationed in Times Square throughout the broadcast and did the countdown in Times Square with Clark. Other correspondents were Charles Gibson in London, Diane Sawyer in New York, Barbara Walters in Paris, and literally hundreds of others at ABC News, technicians and newsmen, who worked throughout the day to bring the broadcast. Those hundreds of others included ABC News personalities stationed around the world to cover the new year in every time zone, including Sam Donaldson at the Y2K Command Center in Washington, Cokie Roberts at the Vatican, with her mother, the then U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, along with Carole Simpson in Chicago, Connie Chung in Las Vegas, Deborah Roberts at Walt Disney World, Morton Dean in Moscow, and Aaron Brown, who narrated many segments.

ABC had more than 1,000 news reporters, technicians, and other news department staff report the story.

Guests included famed Australian comedian Dame Edna, David Blane, and comedian Al Franken. Musical performances included the Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, Faith Hill, Enrique Iglesias, Kenny G, Charlotte Church, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, *NSYNC, James Taylor, Christina Aguilera (who performed at the MTV studios across the street), Aerosmith, and Phish.

Phish's appearance was live via satellite from their Big Cypress festival, performing their song "Heavy Things".

Broadcast highlights

Originally, the name of the broadcast was "ABC 2000", but it was officially retitled as "ABC 2000 Today" because ABC joined 60 other nations, all celebrating the dawn of the new millennium. The network was part of the 2000 Today consortium that included PBS, the BBC, ABC in Australia, TV Asahi in Japan, GMA Network in the Philippines, RTL in Germany, and the CBC in Canada.

This was by far the most comprehensive coverage of any of the broadcast networks. CBS had hourly updates throughout the day with Dan Rather, a special 8pm edition of The Late Show with David Letterman and from 11pm-1am, Will Smith hosted America's Millennium. Dan Rather reported live from Times Square during those hours. While NBC had an extended edition of The Today Show, Dateline NBC at 8pm, Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric anchored NBC's Millennium Coverage starting at 9pm and lasting until 3am and encompassing a special edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, who took part in the millennium celebrations in Los Angeles.

Peter Jennings stayed on the air for the entire duration without a break using only commercial breaks and correspondent pieces to rest, eat, or change suits. He changed his wardrobe four times, including wearing a tuxedo when the ball was dropping at Times Square, and a sweater at the end of the ABC 2000 Today broadcast.

At least 175 million Americans tuned into some portion of "ABC 2000 Today". The broadcast won a Peabody Award. []

The theme music for "ABC 2000 Today" (which was also used for ABC News' election coverage that year) was from Epcot's live show. The music was composed by Gavin Greenaway, who won an Emmy award for the work.


ABC News also used Times Square Studios for ABC News's 2000 election coverage "ABC 2000: The Vote", with the studio set up very similar to the ABC 2000 Today studio set up, except the large screen was used to show the map of the United States with all the red and blue states.Fact|date=January 2008

"ABC 2000 Today" was succeeded by the three and a half hour special "ABC 2002" on December 31, 2001, which was also hosted by Peter Jennings at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in the American Museum of Natural History.

ee also

*2000 Today

External links

* [ ABC News Store: 2000 Today]
* [ ABC 2000 Today Promo (from Network News Music)]
* [ ABC 2000 Today Theme (from Network News Music)]
*imdb title|id=0403832|name=ABC 2000 Today

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