'Katie,' 'Dr. Oz,' 'Dr. Phil,' and 'The Doctors' Rearrange Schedules to Cover Newtown Tragedy
Several syndie talkers spend part or most of week discussing Sandy Hook shootings
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/17/2012 7:55:56 PM
Syndie talkers Katie, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and The Doctors all dug into the Newtown school shooting on Monday, with several shows traveling to the scene to talk to survivors and witnesses.
Couric, host of Disney-ABC's Katie, talked with some of the families and people affected by the shooting and then returned to the studio on Monday, where she spoke with family members of victims of both the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings, as well as Pastor Joel Osteen.
Beth Nimmo, mother of Columbine victim Rachel Scott told Couric: "It does take years to get there but there does come a day when you don't cry all day long, you can laugh, you have joy again in your life. Columbine was like getting hit with a freight train and not even know what hit you. You know? I mean devastates you. The pain is so great you can't breathe. You want to die but you're gonna wake up the next morning and it comes, it comes in surges, you know?"
Couric also interviewed Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, and Dr. Harold Koplewicz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Katie's Monday episode aired in place of an episode on giving back, which now will air on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Couric talks with Les Miserables star Hugh Jackman.
Dr. Oz also rearranged its schedule to address the school shootings in Monday's episode, with Oz and some of his staff attending Newtown's first prayer vigil on Friday night. Oz also had Osteen appear on his show - both Katie and Dr. Oz shoot in New York City -- as well as Dr. Drew, several crisis counselors and members of families who have survived similar situations. To make room for the episode, Dr. Oz's staff pulled a show that featured CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta talking about strokes that will now air in January.
Dr. Oz and his staff wanted "to stand in solidarity, prayer and solemn remembrance with the victims and their families, provide what guidance we can for a nation's collective post-traumatic stress, and guide a discussion about how to have conversations in your own home with children who are processing that something awful happened to their peers," according to a spokesman.
CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil and The Doctors both rearranged their schedules to air episodes on Monday that dealt with the Newtown tragedy.
Dr. Phil cleared the first three days of the week to discuss Newtown. On Monday, Dr. Phil McGraw talked with the father of a boy who shot up a school in 2001. He also connected by phone to Robert and Diane Licata, parents of two of the children who were in Sandy Hook Elementary School when the shooter opened fire. One of those children saw his teacher and some of his classmates get shot.
On Tuesday, McGraw joined that couple in their home along with other parents who have children at the school, and on Wednesday, he talks to other guests who have suffered similar, extremely difficult losses and includes a tribute to the Newtown victims.
McGraw, who also is an executive producer of The Doctors, joined Dr. Travis Stork on Monday to talk about the tragedy, offering viewers advice on how to address the events with children and how to cope with the mental and physical distress that survivors, witness and first responders often feel in the days after handling such a tragedy. Stork and McGraw were joined by phone by Richard Wilford, the father of a surviving student form Sandy Hook, and by Crystal Woodman Miller, who survived the Columbine shootings in 1999.
Anderson Cooper did not address the shooting on his syndicated show, Warner Bros.' Anderson Live!, but hosted special editions of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on both Saturday and Sunday night. On Monday night, the show stuck with coverage of Newtown, including a talk with the family of seven-year-old victim Grace McConnell and the story of several therapy-trained golden retrievers who were brought to the town to offer comfort to the families.
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