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48 Hours (TV series): Wikis


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48 Hours Mystery
Format Newsmagazine
Starring List
Country of origin  United States
Executive producer(s) Susan Zirinsky
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) CBS News Productions
Original channel CBS
Original run January 19, 1988 – Present
External links
Official website

48 Hours is a documentary and news program broadcast on the CBS television network since January 19, 1988. The program originally presented documentaries of various events related to a particular subject occurring within a 48-hour period, and is credited as one of the first to air a "reality show" type format, in its 1997 episode starring Richard Scully covering "Dating in the Nineties". In its current format, as 48 Hours Mystery, the program mainly presents "true crime" documentaries.

Susan Zirisnky is the executive producer. The executive editor is Al Briganti. The senior producers are Paul Ryan, Peter Schweitzer and Judy Tygard.

The show now airs Saturday nights at 10 pm Eastern and Pacific time and 9 pm Central/Mountain. The new season began on September 26, 2009.[1]


Original format

The show drew its name, inspiration and original format from the September 1986 CBS News documentary titled 48 Hours on Crack Street, about the drug crisis plaguing a number of U.S. neighborhoods. The special attracted some 15 million viewers.

Like the original documentary, the series originally focused on showing events occurring within a 48 hour span of time - hence the name. This format was eventually phased out by the early 1990s.

One of the contributors to that program, CBS News Correspondent Harold Dow, has been a member of the 48 Hours air staff since its premiere as a regular series.

48 Hours Investigates/Mystery

It was revamped in 2002 when Lesley Stahl took over hosting duties from Dan Rather and the name was changed to 48 Hours Investigates. The name was changed to 48 Hours Mystery in 2004, and with its single-topic format, does not use a single host, but is narrated by the reporter assigned to the story.

The current format of the documentary primarily deals with real life mysteries and crime stories, again with just one mystery per episode, owing to its single topic per show heritage.

The program is not confined to reporting mysteries; CBS often uses the 48 Hours title or timeslot to present special reports on events, such as a 2006 report on the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, or coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007. However, the relationship between these special programs and the rest of the series is essentially limited to the program's title.

Awards and nominations

The program has received over 20 Emmy awards, two Peabody Awards, and an Ohio State Award.

Syndicated repeats

  • Reruns of the series are regularly seen on the daytime and weekend schedules of both Investigation Discovery and TLC with varying titles based on subject matter like 48 Hours Hard Evidence and 48 Hours Investigates.
  • ION Television aired repeats of 48 Hours on Sunday nights in the 2007-08 television season. Erin Moriarty hosted these episodes with updated graphics and wraps.

International broadcasts

ABC News programming is shown daily on the 24 hour news network Orbit News in Europe and the Middle East. This includes ABC Primetime.

In Sweden, the program airs weekly on Kanal 9.

Current correspondents


External links

Preceded by
Davis Rules
48 Hours (TV series)
Super Bowl lead-out program
60 Minutes
Succeeded by
Homicide: Life on the Street


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