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NBC Scheduling Tuesday Slot For Coronavirus News

Gettyimages | Noam Galai
By Emily Reily

The News Never Stops

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NBC News will begin airing a special report for the next three Tuesdays that's geared toward -- what else -- coronavirus. Variety reports that “‘NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic” will air on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News Now, its new streaming network, beginning March 31 at 10 p.m.

Other primetime NBC shows like "New Amsterdam" will get placed aside while the nation copes with the fallout of the virus.

There has been more than 552,000 cases of the virus and more than 25,000 deaths, and that number continues to rise at an alarming rate.

Coverage From All Angles

Gettyimages | MANDEL NGAN

Other networks are working on their own versions of coronavirus coverage. CNN has been holding "town halls" for the last few Thursdays that are led by Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta. ABC has put "Nightline" back in its original spot, and is also brought in news updates from Amy Robach, instead of a daytime show with Michael Strahan, Keke Palmer and Sara Haines.

Senior vice president of specials for NBC News and MSNBC Rashida Jones said in an interview that “there is no playbook” for covering a long-term event of this magnitude.

Time Will Tell

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Variety explains that in the new show:

"Viewers can submit questions to NBC News personnel including NBC and MSNBC correspondent Dr. John Torres, and NBC News and MSNBC contributor Dr. Joseph Fair, NBC News correspondent Vicky Nguyen and NBC News senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle."

According to Jones, they'll also be checking in with lawmakers to see what their status is on any new bills that are somehow linked with how we're fighting coronavirus.

Depending on how things go, Jones says the show could go on for much longer -- “for as long as there is a need, for as long as this continues to be relevant and people continue to engage. That will determine how long we do it.”

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“It’s a bit less structured in some aspects than a typical ‘Nightly’ newscast. We’ve got significantly more real estate to deal with. We can be more conversational with our interplay with our correspondents and experts," Holt says.

Holt adds: “It’s really kind of built in real time” because “we want the broadcast to be flexible enough to go where the story happens to be leading us at that moment.”

Giphy | Chelsea Handler

Variety notes that evening news broadcasts have swelled in popularity now that coronavirus has spread around the globe. The new, hopefully temporary, show that NBC is launching got its start in a Lester Holt show in which viewers got to talk with experts about the virus.

Holt, like many of us, are working from home, and says he knows none of this is easy.

“We all have an appreciation for how tricky this is,” he says.

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