If most of 2020 felt like we were living through a horror movie, the first few weeks of 2021 have been like 2020: The Director’s Cut. Regardless of your political leanings, it’s clear that America is ready to turn the page from this chapter in our history and that begins with Wednesday’s inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
Here on Sling, our news partners are planning a full day of coverage as Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sworn into office (Pro Tip: this is the perfect event for Sling’s new Watch Party feature, in which you can invite up to three friends to watch live with you). And to top it all off, many will also carry the Celebrating America special, which will be hosted by Tom Hanks and will feature performances from some of the biggest names in music. Check out a full rundown of Inauguration Day coverage on Sling below; to get the most news, sign up for Sling Orange + Blue with News Extra using the link at the bottom of this page.
Schedule: Following its special coverage of the COVID-19 Memorial Tuesday night from 4-7pm ET, CNN will have a full day of coverage around the inauguration. Coverage of the inauguration begins at 7am ET, with Wolf Blitzer, John King, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Abby Phillip, and Anderson Cooper anchoring throughout the day. After the inauguration, CNN will carry the virtual inauguration parade—billed as “Parade Across America”— from 3-5pm ET, with Cooper and Erin Burnett hosting. CNN will also have the Inaugural Concert, which is scheduled from 8:30-10pm ET (more details on the parade and concert below). Both the inaugural parade and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ speeches will be available on-demand the following day.
How to Watch: Watch with either Sling Orange or Blue
Schedule: Coverage on MSNBC kicks off with a special edition of Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist at 6am ET. Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, and Joy Reid will anchor coverage of the inauguration, which will feature a team of on-the-ground reporters at Capitol Hill, the White House, and the National Mall. Chris Hayes will continue live coverage from 6-8pm ET, followed by special primetime programming hosted by Maddow, Reid, and Lawrence O’Donnell. For Sling subscribers with local NBC affiliates, Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, and Andrea Mitchell will anchor NBC’s coverage of the inaugural program, which gets underway at 8pm ET.
How to Watch: Watch MSNBC with a subscription to Sling Blue
Schedule: Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino will be live in Washington to kick off Fox News’ coverage of the inauguration at 9am ET. Complete coverage begins at 11am ET, with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum pulling anchor duties live from downtown Washington D.C. Following a two-hour edition of America Reports, inauguration coverage resumes from 3-5pm ET. Perino and Juan Williams will be live from Washington during a special edition of The Five. Fox News’ primetime lineup of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, and The Ingraham Angle will air at their usual times.
How to Watch: Watch on Sling Blue
ABC News Live
Schedule: Live coverage begins at 9am ET, with ABC News Live Update anchor Diane Macedo, Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran, and Correspondent Kyra Phillips anchoring coverage beginning at 3pm. Anchor Linsey Davis will take over for ABC News Live Prime beginning at 7pm ET.
How to Watch: Watch on Sling Free without a paid subscription
Schedule: Newsy will have live coverage of Inauguration Day beginning at 7am ET, with Alex Livingston, Chance Seales, and Christian Bryant leading coverage. After the Swearing-In ceremony at noon, James Packard will be joining Livingston and Seales for coverage between 12-3pm ET. Jay Strubberg and Lauren Magarino pick up the baton at 3pm and will be live until 7pm ET. And Seales, Magarino, and Packard will return for Newsy’s primetime coverage, which runs from 7pm-11pm ET.
On Cheddar, a special Inauguration Day Preview is scheduled from 11am-noon, followed by Swearing-in and Speeches (12-2pm ET), a recap and the Arlington Ceremony from 2-3pm ET, the virtual parade and balls from 3-6pm, and the Cheddar News Wrap from 6-8:30pm ET. Cheddar's JD Durkin and Megan Pratz will be at the Capitol, with Kristen Scholer reporting from their DC studio, and Baker Machado and Hena Doba anchoring from Cheddar HQ in NYC. You can also check out the Inauguration Day concert from 8:30-10pm.
Virtual Parade and Celebrating America
As we mentioned above, once Biden and Harris are sworn in, the festivities get underway with a virtual parade and concert. According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (via USA Today), the “Parade Across America” will “celebrate the nation's heroes and highlight the diversity, heritage and resilience of the country.” Tony Goldwyn, perhaps best known as President Fitzgerald Grant on Scandal, will host the parade which, according to USA Today, will feature a mix of music, comedians, athletes and social media personalities:
“Performers and athletes participating include comedian Jon Stewart; the band New Radicals, which will reunite for the first time in 22 years; DJ Cassidy's Pass The Mic, featuring Earth Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge, The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, The Washington Chorus, The Triumph Baptist Church Choir and everyday Americans; singer and actress Andra Day, whose song "Rise Up" has become featured at many social justice protests; figure skater Kaitlyn Saunders, also known as The Skate Kid; Olympic athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix and Katie Ledecky.” Nathan Apodaca, the cranberry juice-drinking, Fleetwood Mac-loving skateboarder whose viral TikTok video was one of the few highlights of 2020, will also make an appearance.
Lady Gaga has been tapped to sing the National Anthem at the inauguration, and many other stars are scheduled to perform at the Celebrating America special beginning at 8:30pm. Hosted by Tom Hanks, the concert announced last week that Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons would be among performers. On Sunday, the Inaugural Committee revealed additional performers and talent, including Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, and Foo Fighters, as well as Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda (who will “recite a classic work”), Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chef José Andrés, labor leader Dolores Huerta, and the first woman MLB general manager Kim Ng. The special will also celebrate “a number of the everyday Americans who have stepped up in their communities.”
How to Watch: Celebrating America will air live on CNN, MSNBC and Cheddar
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