2nd UPDATE, 5: 30 PM: With a quick countdown, ABC went back to the impeachment vote from its Good Times and All In The Family live special as the abuse of power first article of the constitutional damning passed along party lines in the Nancy Pelosi ruled House of Representatives.
As the Congressmen and Congresswomen are now voting on the obstruction of justice article, George Stephanopoulos told viewer he’d be back “in a moment” – then the network cut back to Live in Front of a Studio Audience with Viola Davis, Andre Braugher and the Good Times gang and a local alderman.
It’s going to be that kind of night.
UPDATE, 5:19 PM: ABC is more concerned with the era of the Ford administration than what could be the beginning of the end of the Trump administration.
As Congress prepares tonight to vote on two articles of impeachment against the 45th POTUS, the Disney-owned network stuck to its schedule and cut to Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All In The Family & Good Times – though for how long is debatable.
“Not sure if anyone is aware of this, but apparently something’s going on in Washington D.C. tonight,” EP and host Jimmy Kimmel told viewers with Norman Lear by his side. “So we might get interrupted in the middle of the broadcast …apparently there’s trouble in the Nixon administration,” the late night host added, getting his White House occupants a little mixed up in relation to the 1975 set episode of the Evans family of Chicago.
“But the episodes we’ve chosen tonight, we will film them in their entirety, they will be live, we hope you will agree that they are as relevant today as they were 40+ years ago when they originally aired,” Kimmel added as Patti Labelle, black-ish’s Anthony Anderson and a choir belted out the Good Times theme song and a political themed episode with a very special guest star.
PREVIOUSLY, 4:37 PM: Donald Trump called today’s impeding impeachment vote an “assault on America,” but for the Big 4 networks the expected move by the Democratic dominated House of Representatives will likely besiege primetime programming.
As members of Congress continue to put their clearly partisan POV on the record and cable newsers in the vaulted chamber over the two articles of impeachment right now, the actual vote to indict the former Celebrity Apprentice host looks set to start within the hour. In what is only the third time a President has been impeached in American history, that process will crash right up against ABC’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in The Family & Good Times, the season finales of CBS’ Survivor and Fox’s The Masked Singer, and NBC’s Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways encores.
Right now, after all the nets covering the speeches in Congress throughout the day, only ABC and NBC are live with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer speaking to his colleagues and the cameras. Hoyer’s turn at the podium is indicative of a final vote coming soon-ish, but increasingly apparent it won’t be before 8 PM ET. Over in cableland, Fox News Channel is currently carrying a split screen of Trump’s counter programming rally up in Michigan, as CNN and MSNBC stay fixated on the vote in Congress.
Blessed with repeats of black-ish and mixed-ish later tonight, the second LIFOASA from Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel plans to go to a short introduction and then back to the impeachment vote if the historic shaming of Trump goes into the 8 PM ET hour. Getting through the Nancy Pelosi stewarded vote, analysis from George Stephanopoulos and his roundtable of ABC News reporters and pundits, plus potential remarks from Trump himself at his scheduled MAGA rally in the Wolverine State, the aim is to get the heavily promoted Viola Davis, Andre Braugher, Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei-led throwback hootenanny on air by 9 PM ET at the very latest, I hear – if Republicans don’t throw down with some last minute procedural roadblocks.
NBC will stick with the impeachment vote and anticipated commentary if things move into primetime. At the end of a controversial 39th season of Survivor, CBS doesn’t seem to know yet what it will do with the finale and the traditional reunion special as Congressmen and Congresswomen are still offering their Yea or Nays.
However, not for the first time Fox is taking an even more unconventional response.
While FNC will stick to the Impeachment vote, like CNN and MSNBC, the Fox broadcast network plans to air the Season 2 finale of The Masked Singer in its regular slot. Not that Fox viewers will not be entirely denied access to what’s going on in DC. The Charlie Collier-run outlet will scroll a ticker at the bottom of the screen with the latest vote updates and reactions. Also, Fox stations around the country will be offering coverage from Congress live on their websites.
Of course, this all is in the prediction that the newly impeached Trump doesn’t go off the rails at his Merry Christmas rally in Battle Creek, MI – that could throw everyone’s schedule way off track.
With this all heading to the GOP controlled Senate for a likely short trial next year, we will update tonight as events require.