It has just been officially announced that, for the first time in years, the CBS television network will broadcast all three of the 2003 Tony Awards ceremony live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8. For the past five years, the first hour of the ceremony -- during which many of the technical awards are bestowed -- has been telecast by PBS.

Elizabeth Ireland McCann, managing producer of the 2003 Tonys, said of the arrangement: "CBS is our knight in shining armor. We would love to have worked again with PBS, but the Tonys were informed that PBS didn't have the budget to produce their show this year. CBS stepped up to fill the void."

"The Tony Awards have great history and tradition on CBS and it is once again our privilege to bring this prestigious, exciting event to viewers across the country," said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. "The newly expanded format will provide more value to our advertisers -- who benefit from the targeted upscale audience the Tony's deliver -- and to our audience, who will enjoy more live performances featuring the very best of Broadway during the three-hour broadcast." According to a press release, scenes from nominated plays -- either live or pre-taped -- may be part of the program this year in addition to numbers from the nominated musicals, though nominated shows that are no longer running will not necessarily be represented.

The eligibility cut-off date for this year's Tony Awards is Friday, May 7, and the nominations will be announced on Monday, May 12.