How This Works

Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong walks slowly away from the lunar module to explore the surface of the moon, July 20, 1969. AP Photo

Every two weeks someone throws a dart at a map of America. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman goes wherever it sticks, flips through the local phone book, and picks a name at random. He then does a story on someone at that house (assuming they're willing, of course).

It doesn't matter who they are or what they have to say. This is strictly first come, first served. No one is eliminated for any reason and every story gets on the air. The result – unique and wildly unpredictable television.

After meeting a family and convincing them that he really isn't selling anything, Steve and his cameraman Les Rose usually spend about 2 days with their subjects. Much of the first day is spent trying to figure out the person's "story". The second day is mostly shooting and interviewing. Before leaving, the subject of the story throws the dart (backwards and over the shoulder to prevent aiming) sending them on their next adventure.

Since starting this project in 1998, Steve has profiled nearly 100 people from Maine to Miami -- from the Oregon coast to the Arizona desert. His youngest subject was a 5-year-old boy from Tennessee who likes to float balloons to his grandma in heaven. His oldest was an 87-year-old woman from Louisiana who still does her son's laundry.

Everybody Has A Story airs every other Thursdays on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and every other Friday on The Early Show. It also airs every other Saturday Early Show.
  • Tatiana Morales

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