President Obama will speak to the nation from the Oval Office Sunday night to address the threat of terrorism in the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.
Obama has canceled his planned appearance at Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors evening ceremony, an annual ritual for presidents for nearly 40 years. Obama will still address the Kennedy Center Honors reception event at the White House at around 5 p.m. ET.
The White House said Obama’s address to the nation will run from 8-8:30 p.m. ET. Fox, ABC and CBS confirmed they would carry the speech, hastily adjusting primetime schedules to accommodate the President.
According to a statement from the White House, the President “will provide an update on the ongoing investigation into the tragic attack in San Bernardino. He will also discuss the broader threat of terrorism — including the nature of the threat, how it has evolved, and how we will defeat it.”
In addition, “He will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL will be detroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values — our unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and freedom — to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology.”
The primetime address comes as the FBI has confirmed it investigating the massacre committed by a married couple as an act of terrorism. The female attacker, who was killed along with her husband in a shootout with police, is said to have pledged her allegiance to ISIS via Facebook prior to the attack at the office complex where her husband worked. The attack left 14 people dead and 21 injured. Moreover, it further rattled the psyche of the nation that was already grappling with a recent string of mass shootings and the fear stoked by terror attacks in the heart of Paris last month that left at least 130 people dead.
Obama’s 8 p.m. address will surely jumble the primetime schedules of the broadcast networks on the East Coast. NBC’s live coverage of “Sunday Night Football” is likely to be affected although it’s possible that the Indianapolis Colts-Pittsburgh Steelers game will be postponed for the duration of Obama’s address.
CBS had planned to air two episodes of “60 Minutes” from 7-9 p.m. ET followed by its “Sinatra 100: An All-Star Grammy Concert” special. Now Scott Pelley will anchor a special report ABC said it would slide its regular drama lineup back, starting with 8 p.m.’s “Once Upon a Time.” Fox was to air “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m.