Skip to main content

TV Networks Gear Up for Michael Jackson Memorial

LOS ANGELES: Tomorrow’s TV schedule is shaping up to be wall-to-wall Michael Jackson. A memorial service for the late entertainer, who died suddenly two weeks ago, is scheduled for Staples Center in Los Angeles beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday. NBC, CBS and ABC will all carry live coverage of the service, and some of the networks’ regular newcasts will originate at the venue.

“The CBS Evening News” will be anchored at Staples for two nights, and a special edition of “48 Hours” will be produced from the downtown Los Angeles arena. “The Early Show” was broadcast live from Staples this morning, as it will be again tomorrow morning. ABC’s Charlie Gibson is said to be on his way to L.A., as well as Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. CNN, MSNBC, Fox and Headline News (now dubbed “HLN”), and E! Entertainment will cover the event as well. Dozens of microwave transmission trucks already line the streets around Staples Center. Make-shift studios cover the courtyard.

The local news in Los Angeles has been dominated by Jackson’s death since he was transferred to UCLA hospital on June 25. Coverage includes the movements of Debbie Rowe, the mother of two of Jackson’s children who is said to be seeking custody. The other big local angle is how L.A. city officials are not-so-subtly soliciting donations to help defray the cost of holding the memorial. More than 1.6 million people registered for 17,500 free tickets to the event. The registration Web site had more than 500 million hits during the first hour when it went live on Friday, the Los Angeles Times said.

The day after Jackson’s memorial service is the opening night for Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, which will be off-loading Tuesday. The Circus reportedly has a permit to move the elephants through the streets early in the morning.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

(Cover image bystarbright31; story image byChristopher Chan.)