This week on "Sunday Morning" (December 8)


There are 30,000 Dollar Stores in the United States, more than Starbucks and McDonald's combined.

CBS News

Last Updated Dec 8, 2019 9:59 AM EST


HEADLINES: In prisoner swap, Iran and U.S. release detained student, scientist (Video)
After three years in a Tehran prison, Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang is on his way home, in exchange for Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani, who'd been arrested in the U.S. last year – part of a prisoner swap arranged between the United States and Iran. Roxana Saberi reports. 

Dollar Stores and food deserts | Watch Video
It's the latest struggle between Main Street and corporate America: Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have opened tens of thousands of retail outlets across the U.S., and in many rural areas they are the only game in town. Grocers say these stores have effectively forced them out of business, thereby reducing options for fresh food and produce for miles around. Experts say it is having negative effects on public health, but according to Dollar General it is up to consumers to decide where to shop and what to eat. Special Contributor Allison Aubrey, of National Public Radio, reports.

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A vote against war | Watch Video
On December 8, 1941, the day after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, members of the United States Congress voted unanimously to authorize a declaration of war, with one exception. Jane Pauley reports.

GALLERY: Pearl Harbor, Day of Infamy

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Doris Duke's Hawaiian home is now the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. CBS News

ART: Doris Duke's Shangri La | Watch Video
The heiress built a home in Honolulu that was a testament to the cultures she discovered in her 'round-the-world travels. And now it's a museum, the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. Conor Knighton reports.

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The tight end with three Super Bowl rings tells "Sunday Morning," since leaving the game, his lifestyle now involves a special nutrition program, physical therapy, and jigsaw puzzles. CBS News

SPORTS:  Rob Gronkowski on his physical and mental recovery from football | Watch Video
Reena Ninan profiles the former New England Patriot tight end and sports broadcaster.

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Rob Gronkowski on slowing down
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski talks with correspondent Reena Ninan about when he began feeling that he might not be able to physically maintain an NFL career.

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots' prospects
After nine seasons and three Super Bowl wins, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski retired from the field earlier this year. Correspondent Reena Ninan asked Gronkowski about the prospects of the Patriots as the regular season winds down and they head toward the playoffs.

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 The merger of CBS and Viacom (Video)
It happened this past week: the merger of CBS with fellow media company Viacom to form a new corporation, ViacomCBS. Jane Pauley reports.

Flutist and former "Sunday Morning" correspondent Eugenia Zukerman. CBS News

BOOKS: Eugenia Zukerman on keeping her sense of humor and dignity in the face of Alzheimer's | Watch Video
Longtime viewers will recognize Eugenia Zukerman, the internationally-acclaimed flutist, who for more than 20 years covered the arts for "Sunday Morning." But now, Zukerman is opening up to Rita Braver about her battle with Alzheimer's, and how music, writing and humor are helping her cope, as she describes in her book, "Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir of Coping With Forgetfulness, Confusion, and a Dreaded Diagnosis."

READ AN EXCERPT: Eugenia Zukerman's "Like Falling Through a Cloud"

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and a recipient of a 2019 Kennedy Center Honor, made his reputation young, stepping in for an ailing conductor mid-concert at age 25. It launched a career that included leading orchestras in Boston, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Vienna and London. In this profile originally broadcast on "Sunday Morning" on December 2, 1984, Thomas talked with correspondent Eugenia Zukerman about his enthusiasm both for the contemporary (like Steve Reich's "Desert Music") and the classics of Beethoven and Gershwin.

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Secret Santa's helpers (Video)
'Tis the season for Steve Hartman to catch up with his old friend "Secret Santa," an anonymous, wealthy businessman who every year travels the country giving out as much as $300 to random strangers. This year he's recruited a few helpers, from the Milwaukee County Transit System, to spread some Yuletide cheer.

Mel Brooks says he's been funny ever since he was a baby, and we believe him. CBS News

MOVIES: Mel Brooks on the love of his life, Anne Bancroft, and comedy that's not PC | Watch Video
Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz sits down with the director and comedy writer, now 93, who opens up about his politically-incorrect films like "Blazing Saddles" and "The Producers," and whether they could be made today; and about his relationship with his soulmate, actress Anne Bancoft, with whom he was married for 41 years until her death in 2005.

EXTRA! PODCAST: Download or stream Ben Mankiewicz's extended interview with the comedy legend

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Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. CBS News

MUSIC:  Billie Eilish: "Nobody that knows me thinks I'm a dark person"
The 17-year-old singer-songwriter talks with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King about happiness, clinical depression, and the shock of worldwide fame in the wake of her album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?," created with her brother, Finneas O'Connell. Recorded in their home studio, it became the best-selling album of the year. She's also nominated for six Grammy Awards, including for Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Billie Eilish on creating a song
Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish ("Bad Guy") demonstrates for CBS News' Gayle King how she and her brother, Finneas O'Connell, improvise and conjure up songs at their home studio.

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell on writing "Bad Guy"
Singer Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O'Connell, talk with CBS News' Gayle King about creating their hit song "Bad Guy," which they composed and recorded in the studio they created in his former bedroom.

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Billie Eilish on overcoming her "toxic" relationship with her body
Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish talks with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King about the kind of comfort she feels from covering up.

You can stream Billie Eilish's album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):

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OPINION: Bill Flanagan on the "OK, Boomer" putdown | Watch Video
Last week's commentary by Faith Salie about the millennial generation's way of waving away the opinions, instructions and interference of older people gets a response from an older person. 

The cast of the 1960s sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," clockwise from top left: Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan, Max Baer Jr. and Buddy Ebsen. The show was a consistent hit for most of its nine-year run, but fell victim to a network executive's axe. AP/CBS

"MOBITUARIES": When TV sitcoms died in the "rural purge"
In his podcast Mo Rocca explores how the quest for more urban viewers led to the untimely cancellation of hit shows featuring characters from the sticks.

Download or stream "Mobituaries with Mo Rocca" free at

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Snow in New Hampshire (Extended Video)
"Sunday Morning" takes us to a late autumnal scene near the northern New Hampshire town of Pittsburg. Videographer: Scot Miller.


 Week of December 9 | Watch Video
"Sunday Morning" takes a look at some notable events of the week ahead. Jane Pauley reports.  

COMMENTARY: "Indian Land Forever": The 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Island takeover | Watch Video
Historian Douglas Brinkley on how Native Americans claimed possession of Alcatraz, and for 19 months occupied the former prison until they were forced off.

A visitor inside Joyce Kozloff's installation "Targets" (2000), acrylic/canvas/wood, part of D.C. Moore Gallery's presentation, "Pattern & Decoration Continuum: Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, and Robert Kushner," at Art Basel Miami Beach. D.C. Moore Gallery/Art Basel Miami Beach

TAKE FIVE: Arts & events around the U.S. (December 6)
Check out the "Sunday Morning" listings of art openings and events this coming week.

A whooping crane in flight. Perilously close to extinction decades ago, tremendous efforts by naturalists have resulted in the saving of a magnificent bird.

NATURE UP CLOSE: Whooping cranes are finally making a comeback
Despite habitat loss and low reproductive rates, the bird's population in North America has increased in recent years, thanks to captive breeding programs and the establishment of a second migratory flock.

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