Eight ABC affiliates owned by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group pre-empted last Friday's edition of "Nightline."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Hollywood Reporter)--Eight ABC affiliates owned by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group pre-empted last Friday's edition of "Nightline."

Sinclair says "Nightline's" plan to devote an entire episode to airing photographs of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq was "motivated by a political agenda."

Friday's expanded 40-minute edition of "Nightline," dubbed "The Fallen," featured photographs of the 500-plus U.S. solders killed in action in Iraq, whose names anchor Ted Koppel read aloud.

"Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show, the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq," Sinclair said in a statement.

"While the Sinclair Broadcast Group honors the memory of the brave members of the military who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, we do not believe such political statements should be disguised as news content," the statement continued.