President Bush to address nation Wed. night

Speech about financial crisis, bailout and reform package

NEW YORK -- Premiere week or not, the networks will carry President Bush's address to the nation live at 9 p.m. ET.

The White House announced Wednesday afternoon that Bush would speak to the American people about the financial crisis that has gripped Wall Street and Main Street and become the major issue in the presidential campaign. He'll also discuss the bailout and reform package prepared by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and currently being debated in Congress.

This will back up the second hour of primetime for the Eastern and Central time zones. That includes CBS' "Criminal Minds," and a David Blaine special over on ABC. They will start immediately after the address and a short amount of commentary. NBC will air an abbreviated version of "America's Got Talent" to keep the start of the season premiere of "Lipstick Jungle" at 10 p.m. as scheduled.

Network officials said the White House has told them that Bush's speech would last 12-15 minutes. Katie Couric will anchor for CBS, Charles Gibson for ABC and Brian Williams for NBC. Fox also will carry coverage of the event.
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