ABC News Loses Power in Times Square Studio

Diane Sawyer - ABC News headquarters in New York City - 2010
Ida Mae Astute/ABC

On Election Day, anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos manned their desk in the dark.

It's rather difficult to pull off Election Day coverage without electricity.

But that's exactly what ABC News was forced to do when the main anchor desk at its Times Square studios went out at 10:51 p.m. EST, leaving Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos in the dark.

Luckily, the power failure occurred when the network was on a commercial break.

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At 10:52 p.m., contributor Matthew Dowd walked through the control room and facetiously asked anxious producers, "Do you guys need any help?"

When they returned from the break at 10:54 p.m., and the lights were still out, executive director Jeff Winn went to Josh Elliott, who was stationed outside in Times Square, interviewing gathered voters.

"And our intrepid Josh Elliott is still outside," said Sawyer.

At 11 p.m., when the lights still weren't on, Sawyer and Stephanopoulos were moved to Katie Couric's social media screen, which had not lost power.

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"Everybody calm down," advised Winn. "We're going to be alright."

"In the universe of things that can go wrong, this is a big one," said ABC News president Ben Sherwood.

By 11:17 p.m., the anchor desk lights came back on. At 11:23 p.m., ABC News called the 2012 presidential election for Barack Obama.