The program featured sensationalized news stories and drew in viewers with stories aired in multiple installments.
Dateline NBC, or simply Dateline, is a weekly American television newsmagazine/reality legal show that is broadcast on NBC. Eastern for special two-hour editions) and on most Sundays, outside of NFL football season, at p.m.It was previously the network's flagship news magazine, but now focuses mainly on true crime stories with only occasional editions that focus on other topics. Eastern Time; special Saturday editions also occasionally air during the fall and winter months.Two-hour feature-length editions sometimes air on any given scheduled evening, often to fill holes in the primetime schedule on the program's respective nights due to program cancellations.Dateline is historically notable for its longevity on the network.The program debuted on March 31, 1992, initially airing only on Tuesdays, with Stone Phillips and Jane Pauley serving as its co-anchors.Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric joined the program when the previously separate newsmagazine Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric was converted into Dateline Wednesday.
Gradually, the program expanded with the addition of a third night (on Friday) in 1994 and a fourth night (on Monday) in 1997, peaking at five nights of airings each week (eventually adding a Sunday edition) in mid-19.
The number of nights that the program aired on began to be reduced with the rise of equally-economic and popular reality television programming and the result of viewer exhaustion with the multiple-night format.
Editions first began to be removed in the spring of 2001, with the main Tuesday slot being eliminated in 2003.
Dateline was the first "multi-night" franchise that "established brand power by 'stripping' editions," a strategy by NBC's entertainment division to place the program in the same time slot every week.
It was considered to be a singular program rather than multiple weekly programs, and included many teasers and multiple installment interviews (NBC later tried a similar strategy of "stripping" with The Jay Leno Show in 2009).
In its prime, from 1995 to 1999, Dateline provided significant breaking news coverage.