“Argo,” Ben Affleck’s movie set against the backdrop of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, has become the favorite to win best picture at tonight’s Academy Awards. Of course, 33 years ago, that crisis in Tehran also provided the impetus for network TV news to move into the previously unexplored territory of late-night programming. Here are five things to know about ABC News’ “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage.”
v The beginning: The program first aired Nov. 8, 1979, four days after the hostage crisis began. ABC News President Roone Arledge saw an opportunity to compete against NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” by offering a nightly update of the latest developments.
v Short: The show originally aired for just 15 minutes, from 11:30 to 11:45 p.m.
v Host: “ABC World News Tonight” anchor Frank Reynolds hosted the show.
v Koppel comes aboard: On Nov. 29, ABC News’ diplomatic correspondent Ted Koppel subbed for Reynolds and, shortly thereafter, took over as host.
v Making history: As the show’s ratings increased, ABC News executives realized that there truly was an appetite for a late-night news alternative. “America Held Hostage” morphed into “Nightline” on March 24, 1980 with Koppel hosting — and the rest is late-night TV history.
85TH ACADEMY AWARDS (8:30 P.M., ABC): Irreverent “Family Guy” goofball Seth MacFarlane makes his Oscars-hosting debut as Hollywood has its annual orgy of self- indulgence. “Lincoln” leads the field of celebrated films with 12 nominations, but keep an eye on “Argo.” As for the telecast, producers are promising plenty of star power and glitzy production numbers. We just want them to promise to finish on time.
“GIRLS” (9 p.m., hbo): Lena Dunham may be gracing the covers of magazines everywhere, but her character on “Girls” still leads a much-less glamorous life. Tonight, she makes a road trip with Jessa (Jemima Kirke) to meet her pal’s very odd father and his new-age girlfriend.
“The Walking Dead” (9 p.m., AMC): Now that the evil Governor (David Morrissey) has declared war, we’re eager to see if Rick (Andrew Lincoln) can get his head back in the game and rally the troops.
TV listings, B8
Models sought for fashion show
Models are being sought for the Encore Shop’s fashion show May 11 at the Women’s Trade Show at the Eastwood Expo Center in Niles.
Needed are women age 13 and older who can fit size 0 to 5X. The 30 finalists will receive goodie bags. The casting call will be March 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Encore Shop, 4427 Logan Way, Liberty. For information, call 330-759-8229, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Anything Goes’ ticket information
Tickets for the national tour of “Anything Goes,” which comes to Heinz Hall April 16-21, go on sale at 9 a.m. March 1. Call 412-392-4900, or go to TrustArts.org.