'The Man Who Made 60 Minutes'

A Salute To 'The Man Who Made <B><I>60 Minutes</B></I>'

The man most responsible for telling the stories that 60 Minutes is famous for finally tells his own story on CBS.

Broadcast journalism legend Don Hewitt takes the spotlight to talk with his correspondents about his career and his creation in "Tell Me a Story: The Man Who Made 60 Minutes," to be broadcast Tuesday, May 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Correspondents Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft and Lesley Stahl join Hewitt in a lively discussion punctuated with footage of 60 Minutes classic moments and people.

Upon the prodding of the correspondents, Hewitt reveals the stories behind his favorite 60 Minutes stories, and viewers begin to learn who is the man behind the most successful television broadcast in history.

Hewitt's favorite 60 Minutes characters featured in the broadcast include Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Muhammad Ali, and Jackie Gleason. Some of the conmen, hit men and top men, such as Richard Nixon and the Ayatollah Khomeini, who have made famous appearances on 60 Minutes, are recalled as well.

Hewitt also talks about other moments from his remarkable career before 60 Minutes, revealing humorous and telling incidents. Among them, how being late led to a lucky scoop on the sinking of the Andrea Doria; urging a reporter to commit assault in the pursuit of one of the biggest news stories of the 20th century; and a threatening Frank Sinatra accusing him of double-crossing him during an interview with Walter Cronkite.

The hour ends on a fitting note with Andy Rooney's humorous tribute to Hewitt, in which he shows viewers the 60 Minutes essays he did that Hewitt would not put on the air.

The end of the 2003-'04 television season marks Hewitt's 36th at the helm of 60 Minutes, and his 56th year at CBS News. Next month, he steps down as the executive producer of 60 Minutes to become executive producer of CBS News.

Jeff Fager, the current executive producer of 60 Minutes II and former 60 Minutes producer, takes Hewitt's place.

  • Rebecca Leung

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