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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 TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven 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 BidenGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska Jeff Daniels narrates new Biden campaign ad for Michigan 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 ComeyGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden's polling lead over Trump looks more comfortable than Clinton's Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report 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 CohenMichael Cohen writing second book on Trump administration's Justice Department Bruce Ohr retires from DOJ Trump again asks Supreme Court to shield tax records MORE's testimony delivered 15.8 million viewers, while 13 million tuned in to see former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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.