We gave it a B-
Just because 60 Minutes…25 Years (CBS, Nov. 14, 7-9 p.m.) is regularly fatuous and embarrassingly self-congratulatory doesn’t mean it’s not interesting—no retrospective of a show as good as 60 Minutes could be dull. It’s just that this salute to a quarter century of 60, hosted by Charles Kuralt, succumbs to the sort of celebrity journalism the series has mostly spent its history avoiding: In this case, the celebrities are the journalists who report the stories. While there are many well-edited clips from some of the program’s most engrossing stories, the bulk of the two hours is taken up with profiles of Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, and 60‘s executive producer, Don Hewitt.
These personality sketches are stunningly self-absorbed. Wallace may indeed be a sensitive, nice guy, but footage showing him crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., can’t help but make him seem to be working too hard at coming off as a sensitive, nice guy. And Kuralt’s hushed- tones narration, in which every fact becomes a pumped-up revelation (”He’s older than most people think,” says Kuralt of Wallace. ”(He’s) 75.”), doesn’t help. 60 Minutes is truly one of the medium’s landmark shows, and its current editions prove it’s not resting on its laurels. This salute, however, is 120 minutes of laurel-resting. B-