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1[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nightline.png]] ²When the American embassy in Tehran and its employees were taken captive and held hostage by the Iranian government, Creator/{{ABC}} started a nightly late-night newscast, ''America Held Hostage'', in which it would do a recap of what had happened that day relating to the hostage crisis, as well as other news that could fit that wasn't able to make the evening news. For a short period it was hosted by Frank Reynolds, host of the regular nightly newscast, until it was permanently hosted by Creator/TedKoppel.²²As ''America Held Hostage'' the title included the day indicating the number of days the crisis had been continuing. This kept pressure on the Carter administration to try and get the hostages freed, eventually resulting in a botched rescue attempt. The show was later re-titled ''Nightline''.²²After 444 days, when the Carter administration was voted out of office, and the Iranians released the hostages just as Ronald Reagan was being inaugurated, ABC decided to keep ''Nightlne'' around, turning it into a newsmagazine devoted to in-depth stories on a different topic each night. This gave ABC its first late night program offering, which could then compete with Creator/{{NBC}}'s ''Series/TheTonightShow'', and later on, Creator/{{CBS}}'s ''[[Series/TheLateShowWithDavidLetterman Late Show with David Letterman]]''. The show was notably capable of holding its own against its comedic competitors, especially on nights with major stories.²²Koppel retired after the November 22, 2005 episode. Afterwards, Creator/MartinBashir, Creator/CynthiaMcFadden, and Creator/TerryMoran took over as the new hosts of ''Nightline'', with Bashir and [=McFadden=] initially hosting from Times Square, and Moran hosting from Washington. At that time, the show shifted to a multi-topic format, and also began to veer more towards featuring pop culture more often. However, major political stories and interviews helped sustain its viewership, continuing to beat the more comedy-oriented late-night trappings of its rivals. ²²''Nightline'' originally served a unique niche in news broadcasting, but by the late-2000's and TheNewTens, its relevance had begun to wane with the shift of cable news to opinion-based primetime shows with in-depth stories, and late-night talk shows took over the top spot. Initially airing at 11:35 p.m., it switched time slots with ''Series/JimmyKimmelLive'' in 2013. As of 2014, the show is hosted by Creator/ByronPitts and Creator/JujuChang, alternating nightly. With the coronavirus pandemic in the news, ''Nightline'' returned to its previous time slot as a temporary move, and began to pivot back towards its original concept (with Pitts even acknowledging that they were trying to do for the pandemic what the show originally did for the Iran hostage crisis).²²!! This series provides examples of²* GrandFinale: Koppel's final episode featured a reairing of his 1995 interview with ALS patient Morrie Schwartz -- which would go on to inspire the story of the book ''Literature/TuesdaysWithMorrie''.²* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In a 1996 episode, Koppel abruptly announced that he would end his on-location broadcasts from the presidential conventions, arguing that they were now pretty much an infomercial for the candidate (the current structure of the primaries now pretty much guarantees that a candidate would clinch the nomination before the conventions).²* VerySpecialEpisode: This was the bread-and-butter of ''Nightline'' at its peak:²** The show did a ''four hour-long'' episode in 1987, with a town hall format discussing the AIDS epidemic.²** ''America: In Black and White'' was a series of episodes discussing race relations in the U.S.²** One episode featured a live interview with Music/{{Madonna}}, focusing on her controversial music video for "[[Music/TheImmaculateCollection Justify My Love]]"²** An episode dealing with the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first person of color to play in UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueBaseball led to the firing of Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis, after he argued that blacks did not have the "necessities" to act as managers.²** In an April 2004 episode, Koppel read off the names of all U.S. soldiers who had died in the war in Iraq. One major station group, Sinclair (who is known for being right-leaning in its news content) pulled the episode from its stations, arguing that they were attempting to "undermine" the war effort.²** Also from 1987, another episode featured Koppel interviewing televangelists [[CreatorCouple Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker]] during the PTL scandal after Jerry Falwell, who was placed in charge following the initial Jessica Hahn sex scandal breaking, slamming the Bakkers in a press conference as the "greatest scab in the history of Christianity". This episode would go on to be the most watched broadcast of "Nightline".²----

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