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'Dateline' or '20/20' or '60 Minutes' - Which Do You Watch?

Updated on June 17, 2018
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Because "Dateline" and "20/20" are so similar, it is hard for viewers to decide which one to watch. It becomes even more difficult to choose between the two newsmagazines because they both air at the same time on different networks.

The problem of choosing one over the other doesn't exist with "60 Minutes" because it airs on a different day and time.

All three of the programs on the major television networks provide up-to-date news and information for the public.

Below is a comparison of all three of the programs.


Dateline is an American television newsmagazine that airs weekly on NBC. It focuses mostly on true crime stories that have been ripped from the headlines. The one-hour program is seen on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. When there is a special, Dateline airs one hour earlier at 9:00 p.m.

Lester Holt is the anchor. He also hosts NBC Nightly News each weekday. For Dateline, there are there several contributing anchors and correspondents.


The 20/20 broadcast is an American television newsmagazine that airs weekly on ABC. The program focuses mostly on human interest stories. The one-hour program is seen on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. Since it comes on at the same time as "Dateline," viewers have to chose which newsmagazine to watch.

The program's name is based on the visual way of seeing things.

Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir are the anchors for the ABC broadcast. There are several contributing anchors and correspondents.

"60 Minutes"

CBS's "60 Minutes" is like "Dateline" and "20/20" in some ways, but it sets itself apart by being different in many ways as you can see in the chart below.

It Is a newsmagazine television program, but it is based on investigative reporting unlike the other two. There are several hosts of the show. The reporters do not interact with other reporters while reporting. The reporter-centered investigation style does not require the same reporter to be on the program every week. Each story is a separate one and because the investigation may still be going on, the story does not end when the show goes off the air.

The format of "60 Minutes" is very unique and is quite different from the other two newsmagazine programs. The CBS show consists of three news stories with a commercial break separating them. The journalists share their own reports without the help of other journalists on camera. In order to create an intimacy between the reporting journalist and viewers, journalists don't share the screen or speak to the other journalists while reporting their own story. In this way, viewers get the sense that the story is a program itself instead of being just part of the bigger program.

Of the three programs, "60 Minutes" is the longest running one that debuted in 1968 and will celebrate 50 years in September 2018. Despite its name, the runtime is not 60 minutes. Instead, viewers will be able to see the program only 42 minutes. The commercials make up the difference to be 60 minutes as indicated on the stopwatch.

60 Minutes
10 p.m. (1 hour)
10 p.m. (1 hour)
7 p.m.
No Sunday Show
Sunday 2 hours
Sundays Only
Single Camera Setup
Single Camera Setup
Multi-Camera Setup
Focuses mainly on true crime stories
Focuses on human interest stories
Investigative reporting on various news topics
Each episode is about one story
Each episode is about one story
More than one story in each episode
Debuted March 31, 1992
Debuted June 6, 1978
Debuted September 24, 1968
27 Seasons
40 Seasons
50 Seasons
Renewed for 28th Season
Renewed for 41st Season
Renewed for 51st Season
Highest Viewership: 21.2 million
Highest Viewership: 15.1 million
Highest Viewership: 28.4 million
Journalist: Lester Holt
Journalists: David Muir, Amy Robach
Multiple Journalists
Airs on OWN and ID Channel
Airs on OWN and ID Channel
Airs only on CBS
Many awards over the years
Many awards over the years
Many awards including 138 Emmy Awards

Which newsmagazine do you prefer watching?

See results

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