As the newsmagazine approaches its 25th anniversary, longtime host Deborah Norville takes viewers inside the show's evolution with her new book: "The Way We Are: Heroes, Scoundrels, and Oddballs From 25 Years of Inside Edition."
The show's very first anchor, David Frost commuted weekly from his native London to New York for filming. "He was hired by the King brothers [co-creators Roger King and Michael King]," says executive producer Charles Lachman. "They saw him as offering the show instant credibility."
After just three weeks at the desk, Frost was replaced by Bill O'Reilly.
Bill O'Reilly became the show's second anchor, taking over the news desk just three weeks after Inside Edition's 1989 premiere and remaining there for seven years.
O'Reilly's time with IE has been immortalized in a viral video, unearthed years after he became a staple at Fox News, in which the anchor suffers an on-camera meltdown. Watch it here. Says executive producer Charles Lachman: "In TV, everyone has [their] moments. Tempers are hot [in] environments with a lot of pressure, and sometimes with on-air talent that unfortunately is caught on camera. … It was very upsetting [when the video surfaced online]. I felt bad for Bill and the show."
Deborah Norville, 55, has been Inside Edition's anchor for 18 years.
"I was at CBS News as a correspondent, and my contract was up as anchor of America Tonight," Norville recalls. "They'd offered me weekend evening news, but I was expecting my second child. … I was looking for a job where I could stay engaged at the national level but not be on the road all the time."
During his brief, three-week tenure on the show, former anchor David Frost landed the show's first "great get": Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.
"I sincerely regret my actions," Sirhan said. "I was young, I was immature, I was wild. … I wish I could reverse all my actions regarding Robert Kennedy."
"Son of Sam" Killer David Berkowitz
Having pled guilty to a string of six murders, "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz was sentenced to 365 years in prison in 1978.
In 1993, Inside Edition scored an exclusive prison interview with Berkowitz, in which he discussed his new life as a born-again Christian and claimed that he had help during his killing spree.
Then-senior reporter Star Jones persuaded O.J. Simpson to sit down for an exclusive interview during his civil trial in the late '90s, where he claimed to still mourn the loss of his ex-wife, Nicole. "You mourn, you get over it," he said. "This has been an open wound for two years. You know, people won't let it heal."
Described in The Way We Are as "the most gruesome interview ever on Inside Edition," the show's exclusive 1993 sit-down with convicted killer Jeffrey Dahmer was chilling.
"There's no question that I deserve the death penalty," Dahmer told reporter Nancy Glass. "I've wondered myself why I don't have the death penalty." The following year, Dahmer met his fate at the hands of another prisoner.
In 1998, Norville sat down with Paula Jones -- who had accused then-President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. The interview took a turn for the dramatic when Norville asked: "So you turned him down, why would he care about you?" Jones exploded, threatening to end the interview. "She really was not interested in continuing the interview and I needed it to continue, so I had to talk her off the edge," says Norville. "That benign question that I asked was simply one that was the proverbial straw on the camel's back."
Hours later, Jones would learn that Clinton settled the case for $850,000.
Disgraced Olympian Tonya Harding made her first of many Inside Edition appearances in 1994. With the bizarre Nancy Kerrigan attack in the news, IE nabbed the exclusive rights to Harding's side of the story. And the newsmagazine has been there ever since -- documenting the sex tape released by Harding's ex, her arrest after punching and throwing a hubcap at a boyfriend, rescuing at 81-year-old lady in a bar, a stint in jail, a celebrity boxing gig, her third marriage and the birth of her son.
The boy at the center of Mary Kay Letourneau's statutory rape controversy, Vili Fualaau appeared on Inside Edition to declare that he was "not" a victim of his former teacher. During his interview, Fualaau said that he loved Letourneau and planned to make a life with her when she was released from jail.
"It was so cool to meet her because it had been such a white-hot story, and we were thrilled to be able to persuade her to talk to us," recalls Norville, who flew from New York to Honolulu to meet with shark attack survivor BethanyHamilton and her family in 2003. In the 2011 film made about her life, Dennis Quaid -- playing Hamilton's father -- announces to the family: "We got a call from that show Inside Edition."
After achieving notoriety on YouTube, Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, brought Inside Edition's Les Trent to the place he formerly called "home."
"I'd go right here," he said, motioning toward a cluster of bushes near a highway in Ohio. "I'd lay some blankets down and sleep right there." After losing his career to drugs and drink years earlier, Williams returned to the recording studio to do voiceover work in 2011.
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