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the show was designed similarly to CBS's 60 Minutes in that it features in-depth story packages, although it focuses more on human interest stories than international and political subjects.The program's name derives from the "20/20" measurement of visual acuity.The program was originally launched as a summer replacement series; it was then presented on a once-a-month basis during the 1978–79 television season, before being given a regular weekly timeslot on Thursdays at p.m. Ratings were generally very good during the summer months during its eight years on Thursday nights despite competition from Knots Landing on CBS and Hill Street Blues on NBC.It was around this time that the program started using the Brock Brower-written signoff line "We're in touch, so you be in touch" to end each program, which continues to be used to now (the program also used the line "Around the world and into your home, the stories that touch your life" as the introduction during the show's opening titles for much of the 1990s).As a result of the scathing reviews, serious and drastic changes were immediately made: Hayes and Hughes were fired (as was original executive producer Bob Shanks), and a then semi-retired Hugh Downs was recruited to take on the role of sole host on the following week's program.Also featured in the premiere telecast of 20/20, the opening sequence consisted of a pair of eyeglasses, whose lenses showed colored bars, which are often seen in the SMPTE test pattern (used when television stations were off the air between sign-off and sign-on).On January 29, 2013, it was announced that Chris Cuomo would leave ABC News and 20/20 for CNN to co-host the cable network's new morning news program, New Day; on the same day, ABC announced David Muir would join Elizabeth Vargas as the new co-anchor of the program, in addition to continuing as weekend anchor of ABC World News (a role he retains after being appointed to main anchor of the since-renamed ABC World News Tonight in September 2014).
It aired in that same Friday time slot until the fall of 2001, when ABC briefly replaced the program with the scripted family drama series Once and Again, only for 20/20 to return to the lineup again four months later; it has basically retained the timeslot ever since. timeslot on October 12, 2007, it reverted to its usual time two weeks later.
The hour-long program has been a staple on Friday evenings (currently airing at p.m.
Eastern Time, though sometimes extended one hour earlier, particularly during the summer months) for much of the time since it moved to that timeslot from Thursdays in September 1987, though special editions of the program occasionally air on other nights.
20/20 Saturday airs outside of college football season, at either p.m.
as a two-hour broadcast formatted as separate hour-long episodes centered on two different topics or at p.m.