News Comes Amid 40th Anniversary Celebration and Unveiling
of Morley Safer's Commemorative Artwork
60 MINUTES staffers had more than their program's 40th anniversary to celebrate last night as good ratings news was served along with the cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and the commemorative art created by Morley Safer for the occasion.
America's number one news program won Sunday night's ratings contest by drawing 16.65 million viewers to beat ABC's "Desperate Housewives"(15.69m) and attract its biggest audience in viewers, households , adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 since Jan. 6, 2008. The good performance put 60 MINUTES at number three on Nielsen's weekly rating list in viewers and households (10.5/17).
Sunday's program featured a Steve Kroft report on the economic crisis, Scott Pelley's interview of the former Delta Force officer tasked with killing Osama bin Laden and Lesley Stahl's report on electric cars.
Kroft, Pelley and Stahl were among the attendees at last night's celebration at The Central Park Boathouse restaurant in New York to mark the broadcast's 40th anniversary that also included correspondents Katie Couric, Lara Logan, Andy Rooney and Bob Simon. Other partygoers, such as CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves, EARLY SHOW anchor Julie Chen and CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus looked on as 60 MINUTES Executive Producer Jeff Fager hosted a brief ceremony at which 60 MINUTES creator Don Hewitt spoke and Safer explained his artful tribute to the broadcast, an etched marble 60 MINUTES stopwatch.