This theme, composed by VideoHelper, has an interesting story. It both started and ended its run on air as a promo for ABC’s evening newscast. While it was used as a promo in the late 1990’s for Peter Jennings’ broadcast, someone at ABC liked it so much that they suggested it’d be a good 20/20 theme. Five years after it was dropped as a theme for 20/20, it was used to promote the debut of Diane Sawyer as anchor of World News.
20/20 used this theme at a time when there were significant and constant changed in the anchor line-up for the first time in its history. When this theme first started being used, Barbara Walters anchored solo since former co-anchor Hugh Downs had retired in 1999. In early 2002 John Miller, who impressed many with his live analysis during marathon coverage of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, became co-anchor. But he never got very comfortable as an anchor and a year later he jumped at the chance to rejoin law enforcement and leave TV news. So for a few months in early 2003 Barbara Walters anchored solo again. But she was nearing retirement and preferred a co-anchor. In May of 2003 John Stossel, the man behind the controversial though popular “Give me a break” segments, was named co-anchor of 20/20.