CBS has picked up the broadcast rights to the 2003 Tony Awards telecast. During the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour, CBS president Leslie Moonves revealed the Tony information, the New York Daily News reports. Although this year's Tony Awards broadcast earned poor ratings, CBS will continue to broadcast the annual salute to Broadway's best, but not without changes. "It's a tough show to do in two hours," Moonves commented. "We're not only getting bad ratings but we're getting bad press."
Among the more controversial moments of this year's telecast was the disruption of Elaine Stritch's acceptance speech for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Just moments after being led offstage, the acclaimed actress blamed the network for cutting her off mid-speech. She later took responsibility for her thank-you speech, which ran over the time allotted for each winner.
This year — for the sixth time — CBS-TV joined forces with Thirteen/WNET and PBS to broadcast The 2002 Tony Awards. The evening began with PBS' telecast of "The First Ten Awards: Tonys 2002," live from the famed Radio City Music Hall. Immediately following, viewers were able to tune in to CBS for the two-hour "The 2002 Tony Awards" portion, hosted by Tony winners Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines.