CBS News Sunday Morning is an early morning news program CBS airs on Sunday mornings. The typical time is from 9:00 to 10:30 A.M. EST, though west coast stations often air it earlier due to conflicts with sports programming later in the day. Sunday Morning premiered in 1979. Original host Charles Kuralt stuck with the program until 1994, when he was replaced by Charles Osgood. Each episode follows a sort of story totem pole in the center of the CBS soundstage. Each story covered in a given episode has a glass plate with its headline on this pole, which the camera follows after Osgood's introductions. Osgood introduces each story with a short monologue, then sends the show out to the pre-taped segment for that particular story. Along with 60 Minutes, Sunday Morning is considered one of television's highest-quality news shows, and a throwback to the "old guard" CBS style of thoughtful news broadcasting. The style was briefly copied by the weekday CBS Morning News broadcast anchored by Bob Schieffer as Morning (Kuralt eventually took over the daily role). However, the show's then-limited 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET air time (since Captain Kangaroo was entrenched in the 8 o'clock hour) hampered its ability to compete with NBC and ABC's rival two-hour morning shows, though it expanded to an hour and a half in 1981.
Each episode follows a sort of story totem pole in the center of the CBS soundstage. Each story covered in a given episode has a glass plate with its headline on this pole, which the camera follows after Osgood's introductions. Osgood introduces each story with a short monologue, then sends the show out to the pre-taped segment. The show usually ends with a 60 second scene of a tranquil scene of plants and/or animals. After that, a subtle plug is delivered by Osgood for his radio commentaries, with the closing I'll see you on the radio. The program has been described as a "Sunday newspaper in a television tube". Notably, Sunday Morning includes significant coverage of the fine and performing arts, including coverage of topics usually not covered in network news, such as architecture, painting, ballet, opera, and classical music, though increasingly more popular forms of music have been included. The program chooses to ask untraditional questions of guests; for instance, it asked actor Brad Pitt about his love of architecture, and Grant Hill about his painting collection. Television essays similar to the kinds delivered on PBS also show up, and the program generally has a stable of positive news stories to fill up the program when there is no breaking news of note. Story lengths are longer and the pace of the program is considerably relaxed from the weekday Early Show. Recurring segments occur with commentators Ben Stein and Nancy Giles delivering their opinion, and with correspondent Bill Geist doing human interest stories. Despite the stereotype of the program appealing towards senior citizens, the show actually placed first among its time slot in the key 25-54 demographic. Check your local television listings
for the program time in your area.
The trumpet fanfare is called "Abblasen" and is attributed to Gottfried Reiche. For almost 20 years, Sunday Morning used a recording by Don Smithers, who played on an eight-foot baroque trumpet. Sunday Morning chose to retire the old, scratchy vinyl phonograph version in favor of a new, clearer, high-tech recording. This was provided by Doc Severinsen, the former music director of NBC's "Tonight Show," who performed the theme on a specially fabricated four-valve piccolo trumpet. Famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis later recorded another version of the Sunday Morning theme, also on a piccolo trumpet, which is currently in use. The sun images that appear between some of the segments come from a variety of sources. One face might peek out at a producer visiting a flea market, while another golden orb may be found staring stonily from an ancient Egyptian vase in a museum. Some of the images show up in the mail; some are produced by more local artists. The face in the Sunday Morning logo, along with some of the other sun images shown during the show, are inspired by an out-of-print book entitled "The Sun In Art."
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