You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Simpson a hard man to pin down

The Juice has squeezed nets before

This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions.

In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place.

Peacock’s decision to air the interview caused the same sort of outrage as Fox’s planned event. Net’s switchboards were flooded with calls, and some picketers even protested the net’s affils.

NBC had planned to turn its O.J. interview into a three-hour event under the “Dateline” banner. The interview itself was to air commercial-free, but the Peacock’s sales department initially told Madison Avenue sources that ads on the two hours before and after the interview would air at a huge premium.

Net then backed down from the idea of jacking up ad rates on the night, with then-NBC News prexy Andy Lack insisting the net wouldn’t “do anything to (inflate) our ad rates.”

It’s unclear whether NBC, like Fox today, would’ve had much luck selling ads anyway.

“We have clients who will buy time after the rape scene in a movie-of-the-week,” Jon Mandel, who at the time was senior VP, national broadcast,

of Grey Advertising, told Daily Variety in 1995. “And they won’t go near this.”

Ironically, in 1995, Fox execs decided to counter NBC’s planned O.J. interview by airing a repeat of the family-friendly film “Beethoven.”

The movie, said then-Fox topper John Matoian, was “a light-hearted alternative for viewers and their families who are weary of the prolonged coverage of the O.J. Simpson story.”

Simpson finally did speak in 2004, to both Couric and Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren, as well as then-CNN anchor Catherine Crier. Those interviews raised few eyebrows, however — perhaps because no money apparently changed hands.

NBC and Fox News did squabble over the timing of the broadcasts, with the Peacock complaining that Fox News had broken an embargo by airing parts of its interview before Couric’s “Dateline” broadcast.

More TV

  • Fox News Taps Mark Levin for

    Fox News Taps Mark Levin for New Weekend Primetime Show

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • Alexander Skarsgård Joins AMC, BBC Series

    'Big Little Lies'' Alexander Skarsgård Joins AMC, BBC Series 'Little Drummer Girl'

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • Judah Smith

    Amazon Pilots Talk Show With Judah Smith of City Church in Beverly Hills (EXCLUSIVE)

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Female-Led Investor Groups Target Weinstein Co. Acquisition

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • Felix the Cat Float

    NBC Connects Verizon, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Madison Ave. Boost

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • "The Locomotion Reverberation"-- Pictured: Sheldon Cooper

    CBS Is Blacked Out on Dish as Carriage Talks Hit Snag

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

  • 'CBS This Morning' Co-Hosts Condemn Charlie

    'CBS This Morning' Co-Hosts Condemn Charlie Rose's Behavior On Air

    This isn’t the first time O.J. Simpson has wreaked havoc on the network news divisions. In 1995, Simpson left Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw standing at the altar when he backed away from a planned primetime interview with the two anchors — just hours before the live event was to have taken place. Peacock’s decision […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content