Early Edition is an American television drama series that aired on CBS
broadcast network from September 28, 1996 to May 27, 2000. Set in the
city of Chicago, Illinois, it follows the adventures of a man who
mysteriously receives each
Chicago Sun-Times newspaper the day before
it is actually published, and who uses this knowledge to prevent
terrible events every day. Created by Ian Abrams, Patrick Q. Page, and
Vik Rubenfeld, the series starred actor
Kyle Chandler as Gary Hobson,
and featured many real Chicago locations over the course of the
series' run. Despite fan efforts to save the show, it was cancelled in
May 2000, and it began airing in syndication on Fox Family Channel
that same month. Fan conventions about the show were held for multiple
CBS Home Entertainment later released the first and second
seasons on the DVD format in the United States in 2008 and 2009.
1 Plot summary
2.2 Filming locations
3 Cast and characters
3.3 Supporting characters
3.4 Guest stars
4 Broadcast history
4.3 U.S. syndication
4.4 International syndication
5 DVD releases
6 See also
8 External links
The show chronicles the life of Gary Hobson, a resident of Chicago,
Illinois who mysteriously receives the
Chicago Sun-Times newspaper a
day in advance, effectively giving him knowledge of the potential
future. His newspaper is delivered by a mysteriously unknown entity at
least once each day, and is accompanied by a ginger tabby cat, with
the first copy arriving every morning at 6:30am, no matter what his
physical location is. Armed with knowledge of the future, he then
tries to prevent tragedies described in "tomorrow's" Sun-Times from
occurring, thus changing the story text and headlines in the newspaper
to reflect the outcome of his actions. Often, Gary doesn't wish to be
saddled with the responsibility of performing these deeds. The paper
effectively presents him with many Sophie's choices: where he must
choose between helping different people in need of assistance.
The leading cast: Kyle Chandler,
Shanésia Davis-Williams and Fisher
The first season begins by showing Hobson coming home from his job as
a stockbroker, only to be thrown out of the house (and later divorced)
for no apparent reason by his wife Marcia. Upon taking up residence in
the Blackstone Hotel, Hobson begins receiving a copy of the Chicago
Sun-Times, accompanied by "The Cat", every morning. Slowly, Hobson
realizes the paper's contents reflect events that are to happen during
that day, and confers with his co-workers and friends Chuck Fishman
and Marissa Clark. After deciding to use his knowledge of the future
only for "good" (the show has a strong motif of equating money with
evil, so this means rejecting using his knowledge for money, even
though this sharply limits his ability to help others), Hobson is soon
consumed by trying to prevent tragedies and help people, leading him
to quit his job. During the season, Chuck consistently tries to use
"The Paper" to make money (and is consistently shown to be of poor
character, which is held to not be a coincidence), while Gary develops
a precarious relationship with police Detective Marion Zeke Crumb. By
the season's end, Gary has begun to uncover some of the mystery
surrounding the paper, including confirmation that a man named Lucius
Snow received the paper from the cat before him.
Season two continues Hobson's adventures with the paper and his
friends. Detective Crumb sometimes joins Gary, Chuck, and Marissa
after retiring from the police force. Gary is working part-time at
McGinty's as a bartender. Despite being closer to the paper, Crumb
does not want to know how Gary gets his so-called "hunches", and never
learns of the paper. At the end of season two, Chuck (Fisher Stevens)
leaves the show as a regular character, leading to some major changes
in season three. Within the course of the series, Gary discovers that
a few other people share his gift of receiving a newspaper early. The
only people, besides Gary, who know about his gift are his parents,
his friends Chuck Fishman (a former fellow stock broker) and Marissa
Clark (the blind former receptionist at the brokerage), and Erica and
Henry Paget, a single mother and her son (Gary gives Erica a job at
McGinty's); several times he begins to tell a few people, such as his
attorney, and various police officers (Episode 407/408, "Fatal
Edition"), but ultimately changes his mind. On some occasions, he is
given the ability to wake up in another time (such as in the early
20th century) to change the past. People who encounter Gary often
strongly suspect (or know) that he has a secret, but do not know what
it is, e.g. Crumb.
During the course of the series, it is never clearly stated where the
paper comes from. In one episode, Gary meets the group of people
apparently responsible for giving him (as well as others) the Paper.
Nothing much is revealed about them except that they have some sort of
supernatural abilities, such as being able to mysteriously appear at
In season four, episode 20, "Time" (the series finale that aired a few
episodes early), it is briefly explained why Gary started receiving
the paper. Apparently, he was given the responsibility by Lucius Snow
(the man who received the
Chicago Sun-Times before Gary), after Snow
saved Gary's life when Gary was a child. The responsibility is
represented by a pocket knife imprinted with the initials of the
person next to receive the paper (Lucius gave Gary the red Swiss Army
knife). The initials mysteriously change every time the current person
decides on a new person to receive the responsibility. At the end of
the same episode, Gary passes on the same pocket knife to a young girl
named Lindsey Romick who had just lost her grandfather, and it is
implied that Lindsey will begin receiving the paper when Gary is no
longer able to carry on the responsibilities.
The origin of
Early Edition stems from a collaborative idea between
writers Vik Rubenfeld and Pat Page. After meeting each other while
playing volleyball in Manhattan Beach, California, the pair began
discussing ideas for feature films. While talking on the phone one
day, they each contributed key parts for the idea of Early Edition.
Rubenfeld believed the idea was more suited to television than a
feature film, noting that, "it was a really unique way to put a
character in physical jeopardy each week." The duo proceeded to
write a document that described the show's characters and setting, and
treatments for the first twelve episodes (a document known as a show's
"bible" in the TV industry). In the process they also created a
detailed treatment for the pilot episode, which entitled them to
"Story By" credit when the Pilot later aired.
Despite their idea, Rubenfeld and Page still faced the daunting task
of finding a way to get the show on network television with limited
television production and writing experience between them. Rubenfeld
decided to pitch the show to Ian Abrams, whom he knew through a group
called the Professional Authors Group Enterprise (or PAGE). Over
lunch at RJ's restaurant in Los Angeles, Rubenfeld and Page pitched
the idea of "a guy who gets tomorrow's newspaper today." With
Abrams's help, they decided to try to convince Tristar to pick up the
show, and went about adding a few ground rules for the story, such as
having the paper always accompanied by a mysterious cat. In an
effort to rouse Tristar's interest in the show during their pitch
meeting scheduled for August 24, 1995, Abrams had a mock newspaper
created with the headline "Let's just let it end. O.J. Simpson
confesses he is guilty of homicide." The catch to the mock
newspaper was that it was dated the next day, August 25, 1995. After
presenting the fake newspaper during the pitch meeting, a very lively
conversation ensued, until someone realized the paper was dated the
Early Edition was green-lit not long after.
Since its debut, the plot of
Early Edition has been compared to other
intellectual properties with similar themes. In particular, the 1944
It Happened Tomorrow
It Happened Tomorrow centered upon a newspaper reporter
who received a newspaper a day in advance. However, Early Edition
's creators claim that
Early Edition is in no way based on this
film. Ironically, in Poland the show was titled, "It Happened
The series was filmed entirely in Chicago, with interior sets filmed
Early Edition Sound Stage at Studio City in Cicero,
Illinois. Many famous Chicago locations are seen throughout the
series, such as
Navy Pier in the season three episode "Play it Again,
Sammo." The building used for exterior shots of McGinty's bar, a
location of central importance to the series, was formerly used by the
Chicago Fire Department, and is located at the northeast corner of the
intersection of Franklin Street and West Illinois Street in downtown
Chicago. Additionally, Hobson lived in the Blackstone Hotel
during the show's first season.
In the opening credits of each episode, the credit for composing Early
Edition's title theme music is given to W.G. Snuffy Walden, who later
wrote the theme song to another hit TV show starring Kyle Chandler
called Friday Night Lights. During Early Edition's original
broadcast run in the United States, an edited version of the song
"Time Has Come Today" by
The Chambers Brothers
The Chambers Brothers was used during a
revamped opening title sequence from episode 403 until the series'
Cast and characters
Main article: List of
Early Edition characters
Kyle Chandler as Gary Hobson
Shanésia Davis-Williams as Marissa Clark
Fisher Stevens as Chuck Fishman (seasons 1–2, 3–4 guest star)
Panther, Pella, and Carl as The Cat
Kristy Swanson as Erica Paget (season 3)
Myles Jeffrey as Henry Paget (season 3)
Billie Worley as Patrick Quinn (seasons 3–4)
Ron Dean as Detective Marion Zeke Crumb
William Devane as Bernie Hobson
Tess Harper as Lois Hobson
Constance Marie as Detective Toni Brigatti
Luis Antonio Ramos as Miguel Diaz
Michael Whaley as Detective Paul Armstrong
Fyvush Finkel as Phil Kazakian
Chuck was a foil to Gary, being a somewhat cynical, wisecracking
realist in contrast to Gary's growing idealism. In early episodes,
Chuck seeks to parlay the advance knowledge provided by the newspaper
into windfall profits (e.g., sports betting and stock-market 'insider
trading'). Over time, however, he begins to take a role in helping and
backing up Gary as a problem-solver.
Marissa often was the voice of reasonable conscience, balancing Gary's
earnest idealism against Chuck's skeptical realism. Chuck also did the
voice over narration at the opening and closing scenes of the episodes
in season one, but this role would diminish during the second season,
save for a few episodes. Instead a standard line was used during
opening credits, and a closing narration remained in a few episodes,
but as season progressed there was no narration for either the opening
or closing scenes, and in the episodes "Walk Don't Run" and "Deadline"
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Molly Greene does the closing
narration as part of her column.
Stevens's departure from the show after two seasons changed the
dynamic of the show. The device of his voice-over narration was
shifted to at first Gary and then Marissa in season three. This was
eventually done away with, the theme music was changed, and there
began a revolving door of foils for Gary, including Patrick Quinn
(Billie Worley) and Erica Paget (Kristy Swanson). The latter had a
romantic subplot with Gary.
Fisher Stevens made several guest
appearances on the show after leaving, and several of the characters
stayed (such as a hard-boiled detective named Crumb, and Gary's
During the series' run,
Early Edition also featured many notable guest
stars from television, feature films, and other entertainment
Notable TV actors who have appeared include Felicity Huffman, Ken
Jenkins, Leslie Hope, John Spencer, Fyvush Finkel, Laura Leighton,
Jane Krakowski, George Takei, Cynthia Nixon,
Robert Picardo and Robert
Duncan McNeil, Pauley Perrette, Michael Shannon,
Peri Gilpin and
Walter Emanuel Jones.
Academy Award winner
Louis Gossett, Jr
Louis Gossett, Jr had a major role in a season
two episode, "The Medal".
Chicago Sun-Times publisher
David Radler appeared several times
as the publisher of the Sun-Times, the newspaper that was delivered to
Gary, while movie reviewer
Roger Ebert made a cameo as himself. Other
cameos include Tara Lipinski, Coolio, Tone Loc, Dick Butkus, Pat
Martina McBride and Ashley Pates in flashback as the young
There was a season two cross-over with
Chicago Hope with Héctor
Jayne Brook and
Rocky Carroll playing their characters from
that show. Also during season three,
CBS used an
Early Edition episode
as a promotional vehicle for the network's Martial Law TV series
starring martial arts expert Sammo Hung. In the fourth and final
season, professional wrestlers
Tommy Dreamer and
New Jack guest
starred in the episode "Mel Schwartz, Bounty Hunter". A season two
episode ended with a colorized clip of
Rod Serling informing viewers
they had just watched a tale from The Twilight Zone.
Main article: List of
Early Edition episodes
Early Edition premiered in the United States on
CBS on September 28,
1996. A total of 90 episodes were produced over the course of the
show's four seasons, with the last original episode airing in the
United States on May 27, 2000. Its original time slot was Saturday
night at 9pm Eastern Standard Time, sandwiched between airings of Dr.
Quinn, Medicine Woman and Walker, Texas Ranger. When Dr. Quinn
ended in May 1998,
Early Edition then began airing one hour earlier at
8 pm for the remainder of the show's run. In January and February
Early Edition went on temporary hiatus as the Dick Clark game
show Winning Lines aired in its time slot.
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After May 27, 2000 (the end of season 4),
CBS decided to end the
series' run. Despite fan efforts to save the show, and a USA Today
poll showing respondents were in favor by a two-to-one margin of
keeping the "family-friendly" show on air,
CBS did not renew the show
for a fifth season. Fans of
Early Edition continued to show
support, even going so far as to stage three fan conventions in
downtown Chicago in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
The Fox Family Channel (now Freeform (TV channel)) was the first
entity to acquire syndication rights to Early Edition, at a price of
$500,000 per episode, and the show began airing on Fox Family in May
2000. The series debuted in wider syndication in September 2000,
and was more recently seen on ION Television, where it last aired in
FamilyNet currently airs the show nightly at 9/8c.
Early Edition has also aired on GMC. From May 2012 to 2013,
Early Edition has and continues to be broadcast in a number of
countries outside the United States, For example, in Spain the show
aired first on Canal+ and, recently, by Calle 13 and Sony
Entertainment Television (SET en VEO); it has been aired from Monday
to Thursday from August until the end of November 2007. In Poland,
Early Edition aired several times on TVP channels under the title "It
Happened Tomorrow". In Estonia,
Early Edition is being aired by
TV 3, with the title translated to "Tomorrow's News".
Outside the U.S., the series has been broadcast by the following
stations under the following names:
Sony Entertainment Television
Demain à la une
Edição de Amanhã
Утрешен вестник (Utreshen Vestnik)
Global Television Network
Demain à la une
News from Tomorrow
El diario del destino
The Paper of Destiny
Mig og Fremtiden
Me and the Future
The Time Thief
Demain à la une
Tomorrow in the headlines
M6, NT1, Numéro 23
Allein gegen die Zukunft
Alone against the Future
Τυχερή Έκδοση (Tiheri Ekdosi)
A kiválasztott – Az amerikai látnok
The chosen - The American prophet
Fyrstur með fréttirnar
First with the news
Stöð 2 (Iceland)
در برابر آینده
Channel 2 (Iran)
در برابر آینده
RCTI, ANTV, B-Channel
Channel 1 (Israel)
Ultime dal Cielo
News from Heaven
Rete 4, Canale 5
El diario del Destino
The Destiny's Paper
TV2 (first run)
The Morning Edition
Zdarzyło się jutro
It happened tomorrow
Viitorul începe azi
The future starts today
Sony Entertainment Television
Завтра наступит сегодня
Tomorrow comes today
El diario del destino
The Paper of Destiny
Bản tin sớm
Early Edition: the First Season
CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released the first two seasons of
Early Edition on DVD in Region 1 (US only) in 2008/2009. As of
June 2015, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment owns the international DVD rights to
the show, although they have not made any releases yet.
The First Season
June 24, 2008
The Second Season
July 28, 2009
Newspaper from the future
If You Knew Tomorrow – an unsold pilot TV show from 1958 similar to
It Happened Tomorrow, a 1944 film starring
Dick Powell as a cynical
newspaper reporter who gets the next day's paper from the ghost of a
dead newsman and uses it to scoop rivals, bet the horses successfully,
and improve his standing with his girl, until the paper predicts his
own death. This film was adapted to subsequent radio performances on
Academy Award Theater and Theater of Romance in 1945.
^ a b c d e f Rubenfeld, Vik (1998-09-25). "Creating Early Edition".
Extra Edition. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved
^ a b c "Ian Abrams: Co-Creator for Early Edition". EELFEST News.
2001. Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. Retrieved
It Happened Tomorrow
It Happened Tomorrow (1944)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved
^ "Is "Early Edition" based on that old movie about a newspaper?".
EarlyDues' Early Edition. 2000-12-03. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
^ "Where is it filmed or set?". EarlyDues' Early Edition. 2000-12-03.
^ "What and where is McGinty's?". EarlyDues' Early Edition.
2000-12-03. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
^ "290 W Illinois St". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
^ Carlton, Hayley. "Grant Park street wall, surrounding buildings
examined at GPAC meeting". nearwestgazette.com. Archived from the
original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
^ "Who composes the theme music used on Early Edition?". EarlyDues'
Early Edition. 2002-07-21. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
^ "What's with the new theme music?". EarlyDues' Early Edition.
2002-07-21. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
^ "Panther, Pella, and Carl as Cat". Early Dues' Early Edition.
2000-12-03. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
^ ""Early Edition" The Medal (1996)". Internet Movie Database.
^ a b c "When is it on?". EarlyDues' Early Edition. 2000-12-03.
^ "Excerpt from PTC E-Alert - Vol. 4, No. 25". Parents Television
Council. 2000-05-03. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
^ "EELFEST News". EELFEST NEWS. Archived from the original on
2009-07-23. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
Early Edition Debuts In Syndication". EarlyDues' Early Edition.
2000-01-11. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
Early Edition - More Details, Extras and Early Cover Art for 1st
Early Edition - 2nd Season Formally Announced: Specs and Package
Early Edition on IMDb
Early Edition at TV.com