ABC will join CBS and NBC in having a news-division presence on Saturday nights starting this week, when “Nightline” returns to primetime with a series of one-hour programs.
“Nightline Prime” will use the newest technologies to put viewers in the middle of stories as they unfold. The new program puts the latest small, agile cameras out with journalists embedded at the center of stories they are reporting.
In one episode, journalists will ride shotgun with a group of motorcyclists as they attempt to shut down traffic in the heart of one American city in a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse with police. In another, they venture into the barrios of Latin America to witness a dangerous underground trade in extreme beauty where young women in off-the-radar backroom clinics risk their lives for a new body.
“Nightline Prime” will air at 9 p.m., overlapping with the second hour of NBC’s new Saturday series “Dateline Mystery.” CBS has been airing “48 Hours” at 10 p.m. for years, and this week it will go up against a special “20/20″ on ABC in which Barbara Walters and Brian Ross update their exclusive investigation of a Chicago baby stolen nearly 50 years ago.
“Nightline” most recently ventured into primetime last summer with limited series “The Lookout,” which emphasized consumer issues and a mix of investigative and trend stories.
The latenight “Nightline,” which airs after “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” hit a three-month high in total viewers last week, averaging 1.72 million, according to Nielsen.