CBS, NBC Skip Live Coverage of Anthony Verdict

Nancy Grace (Photo: HLN)

Nancy Grace (Photo: HLN)

Eight networks carried the dramatic Casey Anthony verdict Tuesday afternoon.

Notably absent from the live coverage: CBS and NBC. While ABC and Fox broke into afternoon programming to air the stunning “not guilty” verdict at approximately 2:15 p.m. eastern time, CBS stayed with “The Talk,” although the participants on the talk show discussed the case as the verdict was being delivered.

The NBC station here in New York stuck with a repeat episode of “Real Housewives of New York City”. NBC often makes the choice not to preempt for breaking news because it has its own cable news channel, MSNBC, which was one of the half-dozen cable channels that carried the verdict from the Orlando, Fla., courtroom.

Of course, Fox also has a news network – Fox News Channel – and the Fox-owned local station in New York picked up FNC’s feed. Besides FNC, the other channels airing the verdict (according to our informal inventory) were: Fox Business Network, CNN, HLN (formerly Headline News) and TruTV (formerly Court TV).

HLN has benefited mightily from this trial, achieving record ratings throughout the proceedings. One reason: HLN personality Nancy Grace, who had been vocal in her view that Anthony would be found guilty in the murder of her daughter, 2 year-old Caylee. Just minutes before the verdict, Grace even predicted Anthony would get the death penalty. After the not-guilty verdict, Grace was among those who were most surprised. “You are seeing the inside of a stunned courtroom!” she said, as the camera panned the courtroom as spectators were filing out after the session was adjourned.

Anthony was found guilty of some lesser charges that she purposely provided misleading information to police. She’ll be sentenced on those charges Thursday morning in a proceeding that will also likely be widely televised.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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