The entertainment divisions of ABC and NBC have been in an official state of war ever since NBC unceremoniously dumped head programmer Kevin Reilly earlier this summer. Reilly and ABC programming chief Steve McPherson are old college buddies, and McPherson has been scathing in his denunciations of new NBC boss Ben Silverman -- not just for replacing Reilly, but also for hiring Isaiah Washington, fired from ABC's Grey's Anatomy for homosexual slurs against another member of the cast. "When someone stabs your best friend in the back, you don't buy it," McPherson said during the critics' press tour in Los Angeles last month.
Now the war is spreading to new theaters of combat -- the news divisions. ABC's 20/20 is working on a story about the pedophile vigilanteism of the To Catch A Predator segments on NBC's Dateline. An ABC unit is in Texas right now, reporting on a To Catch A Predator segment last year that ended with the suicide of one of the men lured into a sting operation. Coming soon: Meredith Viera and Diane Sawyer pull each other's hair out, eventually followed by McPherson and 20/20's John Stossel in a tag-team Ultimate Fighting match against Silverman and To Catch A Predator's Chris Hansen, with the winners eating the livers of the losers.