ABC News to mirror St. Petersburg Times Scientology investigation on Nightline
St. Petersburg Times reporter Tom Tobin was expected to appear Thursday night in the first of two nights of reports on the Church of Scientology scheduled to air on ABC's late-night news magazine Nightline.
The show plans to explore much of the same ground the Times uncovered in its first three-part series on the Church published in June, The Truth Rundown, outlining tales of violence allegedly perpetrated against high-ranking church officials by leader David Miscavige.
According to a spokeswoman for the show, Nightline on Thursday will feature interviews with at least some of the sources featured in the Times' reporting -- former high-ranking Church officials coming forward to publicly reveal controversial stories about Scientology leadership in a way never seen before. The show also features a recently-recorded interview with church spokesman Tommy Davis.
Friday's story is expected to focus on the celebrity angle of Scientology -- the church has aggressively courted celebrities such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta for decades -- showing how famous names are treated inside the group and examining how Miscavige may be influencing Cruise's behavior, according to the spokeswoman.
Nightline airs at 11:35 p.m. weeknights on ABC, WFTS-Ch. 28 locally. It is likely the Scientology stories will fill 60 percent of each night's show.