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60 Minutes to celebrate 50th anniversary

60 Minutes turns 50
60 Minutes to celebrate 50th anniversary 00:30

60 Minutes will begin its golden anniversary season as the most successful, most watched and honored television broadcast in American history when it premieres for the 50th time on CBS Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will honor 60 Minutes with a 50th anniversary tribute recognizing its contribution to television journalism at its Emmy Award ceremony on Oct. 5 in New York City.

Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace introduce the first broadcast of 60 Minutes on Sept. 24, 1968. CBS News

60 Minutes will mark the milestone with an hour-long broadcast in November.

The first story from new 60 Minutes special contributor Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to be broadcast on the 50th season premiere.

Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, has authored a book, "50 Years of 60 Minutes," published by Simon & Schuster, a CBS company, available Oct. 24.  An excerpt of it has been published in Vanity Fair.  Read the excerpt. Fager and 60 Minutes correspondents will appear at the 92nd Street Y on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m., a book signing follows.

60 Minutes' longevity alone qualifies it as an unprecedented success; it continues to be the most honored news program and remains enormously popular with today's audiences. 60 Minutes has been a ratings hit since the late 1970s -- a primetime feat that has made its ticking stopwatch synonymous with Sunday evenings to generations. By one metric, the cumulative delivery, which measures unique viewers who watch some or all of a program, 60 Minutes was the No. 1 non-sports program on broadcast network television for the past 10 years. Its cumulative delivery for the 2016-17 season was 107.75 million viewers.

The CBS News magazine averaged 12.42 million viewers over its 49th season and made Nielsen's Top 10 weekly list 22 times. 60 Minutes was the only network news magazine to gain audience season, finishing up +1 percent in viewers.

60 Minutes has won Nielsen's No. 1 program crown five times over the years and in a record three different decades (1979-80, 1982-83, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94). No single program has ever been a top 10 hit for as many seasons as 60 Minutes. Its 2,300-plus broadcasts is a primetime record.

60 Minutes' unique and quality storytelling has enthralled audiences for five decades, all the while impressing awards juries. The CBS News magazine has won every major honor, including 20 Peabody awards, 12 du Pont awards and a record 138 Emmys.

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