'20/20' shifts to 8 p.m. on ABC fall sked

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NEW YORK -- ABC's long-standing newsmagazine "20/20" is changing time slots in the fall.

After nearly 20 years at 10 p.m. Fridays, "20/20" will move two hours earlier to 8 p.m., the network said Wednesday, making way for the new drama "The Women's Murder Club" and the returning drama "Men in Trees."

ABC News found out about the change Tuesday, and executive producer David Sloan said Wednesday that he thinks "20/20" will do just fine at 8 p.m. He said he hopes the strength of "20/20" will help launch the other dramas.

"The network recognizes and acknowledges that "20/20" has been the top-rated show on ABC -- and sometimes on all networks -- on Friday," Sloan said. "It is a very, very reliable delivery platform for audiences and in the demo."

"20/20" debuted June 6, 1978, at 10 p.m. Tuesday and moved a year later to 10 p.m. Thursdays. That's where it stayed until Sept. 18, 1987, when it moved to Friday nights.

The current "20/20" anchors are John Stossel and Elizabeth Vargas. Sloan said there will be no big-picture changes for the new season but promised a strong season.

"There's a great fall development with some very high-impact investigations and some very buzzy high-concept hours," Sloan said.

But he said he wasn't sure whether there would be any changes to the content of "20/20," other than putting it to bed two hours sooner because of the 8 p.m. airtime.

"I have to do a little research on who is the 8 o'clockcq viewer because I've always been a 10 o'clock guy," Sloan said.
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