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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.
In 1997, a second weekly edition of 20/20 made its debut on Thursday evenings.
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.
The anchors on the premiere telecast of 20/20 were renowned Esquire magazine editor Harold Hayes, who also served as the program's senior producer, and famed Time art critic Robert Hughes.
After Downs' retirement in 1999, Walters became the solo anchor of 20/20.
For a time from 1998 to 2000, ABC News chose to consolidate their newsmagazine programs by combining 20/20 and Primetime Live into a singular brand under the 20/20 name and format in order to compete with Dateline NBC, which itself ran for four nights a week at the time (Dateline has since been reduced to twice weekly airings).
At its peak, 20/20 ran on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays, in addition to its longtime Friday timeslot; these additional nights of 20/20 were joined by the younger-skewing 20/20 Downtown on Thursday nights.
In September 2009, before the start of its 31st season, John Stossel announced he would leave the program after 28 years to pursue a new weekly show on the Fox Business Network.
Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer also contribute reports.