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CBS News Sunday Morning
Sunday Morning's Sun logo in 2009
Format Newsmagazine
Created by Robert Nothshield
Charles Kuralt
Presented by Charles Osgood
Charles Kuralt
Anthony Mason (substitute)
Harry Smith (substitute)
Opening theme Abblasen
Country of origin  United States
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) CBS News Productions
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i SDTV
1080i HDTV
Original run January 28, 1979 – present

CBS News Sunday Morning is an American television news magazine program created by Robert Northshield and original host Charles Kuralt, and appearing continuously since January 28, 1979 on the CBS Television Network, airing in the Eastern US on Sunday from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The current host of the show is Charles Osgood, who took over from Kuralt upon his retirement in April 3, 1994. The program was originally conceived to be a sort of broadcast version of a Sunday newspaper rotogravure section, most typified by the Sunday New York Times Magazine. The format of the show was briefly copied by the weekday CBS Morning News broadcast anchored by Bob Schieffer as Morning (Kuralt eventually took over the daily role, and was for a short time joined by Diane Sawyer as co-host). However, the show's then-limited 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET air time (the long-running Captain Kangaroo was entrenched in the 8 o'clock hour) hampered its ability to compete with NBC's and ABC's rival two-hour morning shows, though it expanded to an hour and a half in 1981. The CBS weekday program, now a full two hours on the East Coast, is now known as The Early Show. On Sunday, May 17, 2009, the program began airing in high-definition.



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 tranquil scene of plants and/or animals. After that, a subtle plug is delivered by Osgood for his weekday The Osgood File radio commentaries for CBS Radio News, with the closing "Until then, I'll see you on the radio."

The program follows a format similar to a Sunday newspaper in a television show. 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 and negative 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. [1][2] Despite the stereotype of the program appealing towards senior citizens [3], the show actually placed first among its time slot in the key 25–54 demographic, beating all of the Sunday morning talk shows.[4][5]

On one occasion, the program has served as a showcase entirely for classical music. This was in April 1986, when it presented a live broadcast of Vladimir Horowitz's historic Moscow piano recital. For that presentation only, the program departed from its usual newsmagazine format and devoted the entire ninety minutes to a complete presentation of the recital. Because the recital was given at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time, CBS was able to broadcast it at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The presentation was such a critical and popular success that it was repeated only two months later, and was subsequently released on VHS and DVD.


The program is marked by its distinctive "Sun" logo. In addition, in between some segments images of the sun in various forms also appear. The show's theme is the trumpet fanfare "Abblasen", attributed to Gottfried Reiche. A recording of the piece on baroque trumpet by Don Smithers was used as the show's theme for many years, until producers decided to replace the vinyl recording with a digital of a piccolo trumpet by former Tonight Show musical director Doc Severinsen. The current version is played by Wynton Marsalis.[6]


On January 25, 2004, CBS News celebrated the 25th anniversary of Sunday Morning with clips and highlights from the show's first quarter-century. Host Charles Osgood showed clips from former host Charles Kuralt.

The February 1, 2009 show saw a celebration of Sunday Morning's 30th anniversary. Segments examined how the world has changed in three decades, the history of Sundays in America and—as a tie-in to the show's logo—the physics of the sun. An artist was commissioned to create new sun logos for the program, which debuted on the February 1 edition and will be used in future broadcasts. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman will periodically revisit some of Charles Kuralt's memorable personal profiles.


Charles Kuralt, Host from 1979–1994

Sorted chronologically by start date


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