Media rework schedules for latest tragedy

It’s become far too common this summer: Networks scrambling to pre-empt programming in order to cover the death of a notable public figure.

This time, broadcast and cable execs were busy reworking their Wednesday night skeds (and beyond) following the death of legendary Sen. Ted Kennedy.

ABC, for example, opted to pre-empt what had already been a hastily put-together “Primetime: Crime” report on the suicide of reality contestant Ryan Jenkins – accused of killing his former wife – with an even more hastily put-together special, “Remembering Ted Kennedy.

That special, hosted by Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, was set to air Wednesday night at 10 p.m. CBS, meanwhile, was set to replace sitcom reruns at 8 p.m. with “Ted Kennedy, The Last Brother,” a special culled from CBS News archives and anchored by Katie Couric.

CNN, meanwhile, acquired rights to the recent HBO documentary “Teddy: In His Own Words,” which was planned for 7 p.m. (ET). Campbell Brown was set to anchor.

Over on MSNBC, the cabler moved up by a day the debut of its new special “The Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary,” which was added to the 9 p.m. hour, and will air again as scheduled on Thursday at 7 p.m.

MSNBC also slotted in a Ted Kennedy episode of “Headliners and Legends” at 11 p.m. Sister net NBC expanded “NBC Nightly News,” anchored by Brian Williams, to an hour.

Gibson, Williams and Couric were all in Hyannis Port, Mass., to anchor their respective newscasts and specials.

Beyond the news nets, Bio channel scheduled the special “Bio Remembers: Ted Kennedy,” for Thursday at 9 p.m.

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