Broadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage

ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS on Wednesday will preempt their regularly scheduled programming for live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee's open impeachment hearings of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE.

As expected, all of the major cable news networks, including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and CSPAN will also offer live coverage.

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William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, on Wednesday is slated to be the first to publicly testify regarding possible efforts by Trump administration officials to link U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE, a top Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden for business dealings in the country.

Taylor's testimony will be followed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

The respective testimonies will mark the second time both men have appeared before lawmakers, with the first occurring in closed door depositions.

House panels began hearing testimony behind closed doors on Sept. 24 in a basement room in the Capitol. Overall, lawmakers have questioned 15 witnesses before three investigatory committees.

In the past, some high-profile public hearings during the Trump administration have generated huge television audiences.

In May 2017, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson' Comey says 'Fox & Friends' canceled booking after release of watchdog report on Trump probe Fox's Chris Wallace: IG report headline is 'It didn't find the things that Bill Barr and Donald Trump alleged' MORE's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was watched live by 19.5 million people across all the major broadcast and cable news networks.

In February, former Trump personal attorney and fixer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenKaren McDougal sues Fox News over alleged slander Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Five things to watch for at Trump's NATO meetings MORE's testimony delivered 15.8 million viewers, while 13 million tuned in to see former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

All audience numbers are according to Nielsen Media Research.

Impeachment hearings for President Nixon in 1973 were also covered live on a rotating basis by the major broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, while PBS carried the proceedings wall-to-wall for more than 250 hours.

More than 7 in 10, or 71 percent, of Americans watched the Nixon impeachment hearings live, according to Gallup.

Nixon would go on to resign the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974.