National Millennium Party on CBS

CBS joins forces with White House for New Year's Eve show

(Everything2000) - Want a chance to see how the President and first lady ring in the New Millennium? Then tune in to CBS on New Years Eve. CBS just locked up broadcast rights to an exclusive two hour music and entertainment special live from Washington D-C. The party is sponsored by the White House and will be called "America’s Millennium Gala".

Actor Will Smith is going to host the event but he’ll have some help from the President and first lady. Producers Quincy Jones and George Stevens Jr. say Bill and Hillary Clinton will have a prominent role in the event.

While many broadcasts will cut to Times Square at midnight, the C-B-S show is planning a different way to ring in the New Year. Stevens and Jones say they are creating a "midnight moment" which is a light and sound display between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The rest of the broadcast is still being hashed out but producers say they will lure several major names to take part in the event. At this time, no firm talent deals have been announced.

The broadcasting deal also gives CBS exclusive rights to the U.S. broadcast premiere of an 18-minute film produced by Steven Spielberg titled "The Unfinished Journey". It will highlight events of the 20th century and include a score by John Williams.

The audience for the CBS millennium party will include 100 prominent cultural, social and business leaders. All will be involved in a pre-show black-tie dinner. CBS will air the entire festivities from 10 p.m. to 1 a. m. EST, and local stations will have a 30-minute period at 11 p.m. to cover local events. Viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones will see a tape-delayed version of the show.

The "Millennium Gala" is the cornerstone of CBS’s coverage, which will also include an hour-long "Late Show" with David Letterman from 8-9pm and a musical special from 9-10 p.m. The only non-exclusive element of the CBS program will be a short address by President Clinton at ten minutes before midnight.

The CBS show will be competing with world-wide New Years Eve celebration on ABC, The Millennium Television Network show which will air on PAX-TV in the US and a global program being produced by the <A HREF= "http://www.everyt