"48 Hours" kicks off 30th anniversary year

A new season premieres Saturday with a new look and a focus on taking viewers inside the journey for the truth

A new season of "48 Hours"
A new season of "48 Hours" 05:49

"48 Hours" launches its 30th anniversary year beginning Saturday, Sept. 30 with a new emphasis on taking viewers inside the journey for the truth, a new look, and a focus on stories that matter, it was announced today by senior executive producer Susan Zirinsky.

Saturday night's No. 1 non-sports broadcast will launch with back-to-back editions starting at 9/8c with a "48 Hours" Special:  "O.J. Simpson: Endgame" followed at 10/9c with "The Widow on Solway Road."  

[Download correspondent Erin Moriarty's  original six-part podcast, "The Widow".]

Preview: O.J. Simpson: Endgame 00:20

"With every case, we're taking the viewer inside the investigation and along the path of discovery taken by our teams," says Zirinsky. "The viewer is watching and becomes immersed as the correspondent unravels these complex cases. Showing the correspondent's journey was critical at the launch of "48 Hours" 30 years ago, and is even more important today."

Sneak peek: The Widow on Solway Road 03:53

"48 Hours" will feature a new opening sequence that includes a nod to the broadcast's 30th anniversary, along with new graphics. "48 Hours" also will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series launch with special multi-platform elements that highlight key moments of the broadcast's rich journalistic history.

"This is the best of experiential journalism," says Zirinsky. "We have the top storytellers in the field and viewers will sense that they're standing alongside Erin Moriarty, Peter Van Sant, Maureen Maher, Richard Schlesinger, Tracy Smith and other CBS News correspondents as they uncover information and make sense of these highly emotional, often perplexing cases.

"48 Hours" correspondents, from left, Richard Schlesinger, Maureen Maher, Peter Van Sant and Erin Moriarty
"48 Hours" correspondents, [l-r] Richard Schlesinger, Maureen Maher, Peter Van Sant and Erin Moriarty CBS News

"We're uncovering stories from Silicon Valley, to the nation's heartland, and to Russia," adds Zirinsky. "What they all have in common is they involve real people, real families, and real drama and speak to larger issues about society and our world."

"48 Hours" began as the documentary "48 Hours" on Crack Street" in 1986, which featured the reporting of 10 CBS News correspondents and 15 crews over a period of one weekend to chronicle the impact of the sale, use and effect of drugs. It became a regular series on January 19, 1988 with the show built around a team of correspondents covering one subject for 48 consecutive hours. Over time it evolved into the premier broadcast for law, crime and justice stories. "48 Hours" remains the third longest-running primetime series on network television. "48 Hours" has also been the #1 non-sports program on Saturday nights for the past 11 seasons.

Reporting by "48 Hours" journalists has been credited with uncovering new information that has led to high-profile cases being overturned and wrongfully convicted people released from prison. To name a few, "48 Hours" has impacted the cases of Ryan Ferguson, who spent 10 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit; The West Memphis Three, three men convicted for killing a young boy; and Martin Tankleff, who as a teenager was convicted of killing his parents but who now not only walks free, he's become a lawyer. "48 Hours" has earned numerous awards, including three Peabody's, 20 Emmys®, four RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.  

"Our team spends years reporting on some of these cases," says Zirinsky. "We're dedicated to bringing the best original reporting on crime and justice cases that matter - cases that raise larger questions about humanity."