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 TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America 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 BidenBiden campaign cancels fundraiser with Mueller prosecutor Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation 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, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe GOP chairman to seek subpoena power in investigation of Russia probe, 'unmasking' requests Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe 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 CohenRosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead Cohen released from federal prison to home confinement due to coronavirus concerns 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.