60 Minutes has been on the air since 1968, a year before I was born. In the 38 years since then it has become known as the nation’s preeminent investigative television program and the “news magazine” to which all others attempt to live up to — but don’t. In terms of ratings, it has been in the top ten 23 seasons in a row, never falling out of the top 20 for as long as it has been on the air.
But, as the show grows older, so do its people — the people that have made it what it is today. Ed Bradley’s passing today (Nov. 9, 2006) reminded me of how the 60 Minutes that I’ve grown to love, that I was raised watching, and that has become part of most all my Sunday nights won’t be the same forever. Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, and the show’s creator, Don Hewitt, are all getting older; they won’t be part of the show for the rest of its life on the air. But then Harry Reasoner wasn’t part of it forever either. His leaving didn’t destroy the show… I guess it’s just that people die. (No surprise there, huh?!) I just hope that my ideal of what 60 Minutes is doesn’t die along with them. This is not to say that the rest of the cast is not top notch, but for whatever reason, it’s the people that I’ve watched all these years that made the show what it is — for me.
Long live the ‘show of all shows’! And, farewell Ed… You’ll be missed.