ABC, NBC and CBS pooled their resources for their coverage of what Variety then called a “31-hour TV super-special," running all day Sunday through midday Monday. "But each network also wanted to plant its own distinct footprint on the moon landing," says Tim Gray. "CBS offered Arthur C. Clarke, Walter Cronkite and Orson Welles (think War of the Worlds). ABC had Rod Serling, Isaac Asimov and Marshall McLuhan; ABC also commissioned Duke Ellington to compose a piece of music. NBC had a special hosted by John Chancellor and Danny Kaye, which Variety described as 'a rather unusual mating of entertainment with news.'...Also taking part in the broadcasts were Van Heflin, James Earl Jones and Julie Harris with dramatic readings, plus poet Rod McKuen and writer Michael Crichton. Before the actual landing, the three TV networks and four radio networks offered minute-by-minute coverage of Apollo 11 preparations and flight. ABC hoped for a call-in show for viewers to ask questions of scientists and newsmen, but AT&T feared an overload of equipment." ALSO: Here are 10 documentaries commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.