Live television is often used as a device, even in scripted programming to take advantage of these often to great success in terms of attracting viewers.
The NBC live comedy/variety program Saturday Night Live, for example, has been on that network continuously since 1975
and airs live in the Eastern and Central zones (including the Pacific and Mountain zones beginning 2017) during the show’s season which runs from October though May.
On September 25, 1997, NBC aired two separate live broadcasts (for viewers in both West and East Coasts) of an episode of ER,
which at the time ranked as the most watched episode of any U.S. medical drama program ever. Many television news programs,
particularly local news ones in North America, have also used live television as a device to gain audience viewers by making their programs appear more exciting.
With technologies such as production trucks, satellite truck uplinks, a news reporter can report live “on location” from anywhere where a story is happening in the city.
This technique has attracted criticism for its overuse (like minor car accidents which often have no injuries)
and resulting tendency to make stories appear more urgent than they actually are.
The unedited nature of live television can pose problems for television networks because of the potential for mishaps.
To enforce the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, television networks often broadcast
live programs on a slight delay (usually on single-digit seconds only) to give them the ability to censor words and images while keeping the broadcast as “live” as possible.