A deluge shortly after dawn in Gotham flooded the control room of CBS’s “Early Show” on Wednesday, forcing producers to relocate the show to a set across town less than an hour before its 7am air time.
Powerful thunderstorms dumped nearly two inches of rain on Gotham between 6 and 7am, knocking out the subways and snarling the morning commute.
When CBS News veep Steve Friedman arrived at the “Early Show” set shortly after 6 am, the power was out and rain was pouring into control room, soaking racks of computers and broadcasting equipment.
The set of the “Early Show” is on the plaza of the GM Building across from Central Park, but the control room is underground, and vulnerable to flooding.
At 6:22 AM, Friedman made the call to relocate the show across town to the set of the “Evening News with Katie Couric” at CBS’s broadcast center on West 57th.
The show’s four anchors, Hannah Storm, Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriquez and Dave Price, as well as guests including Knicks star Stephon Marbury and Chris O’Donnell, hopped in yellow cabs and were whisked across town, while staff at CBS’s broadcast center prepped Couric’s set.
Props for segments on the newest lawn fences, the “return of the preppy look,” and home solar power were also shuttled across town.
“It was probably the first time ever we’ve had a fashion show on the ‘Evening News’ set,” Friedman said.
Friedman said the show aired all its planned segments and commercials.
CBS technicians were using hair dryers to dry out equipment before they determine what if any long-term damage was done by the deluge. Friedman said a decision will be made at 2:30 pm whether the “Early Show” can move back, or it will continue to broadcast from the “Evening News” set on Thursday.