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TV Critics Tour: Katie Couric asks Sarah Palin to her new show

NBC's "Today" show is bringing Sarah Palin, left,

NBC's "Today" show is bringing Sarah Palin, left, on board as a co-host for one morning. The announcement was posted on NBC's website. It says the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate will "reveal a different side" than viewers have seen before. The booking comes at the same time that "Today" alumna Katie Couric makes a weeklong return to morning TV as a guest host on ABC's "Good Morning America." (Credit: AP )

BEVERLY HILLS  -- Katie Couric faced the mob Thursday morning to offer the first extended description of her new show debuting in September, which sounds like a back-to-the-future version of her years on "Today:" Newsy, loose, lifestyle-oriented (except when it's not) and decidedly Katie-esque.

She was also asked about Sarah Palin; more on that at the end of the post.

Of her new show, news (or at least news topics) will be embraced in this live studio audience program -- certainly unusual for an afternoon show but hardly for "The View," which is something of a morning bookend.

Example, per Katie: When a tragedy like the Aurora shooting occurrs, "we'd approach it in the show with a deeper look at some of the issues that are attendant to a terrible event like that -- gun laws, and hearing from both sides if there needs to be better enforcement or whether or not that would have an impact on a violent individual like this."

She added that the show remains "a work in progress -- at times a single topic show, at other times two topics in one show or sometimes three [while] talking about things as varied as the impact on relationships of children and aging parents...."

Yup, it'll be Katie occasionally talking about issues that affect Katie (she's now taking care of her 89-year-old mom), but not always. Said she wants to walk a balance - offering her own take on issues/news/celebrities/lifestyle, but not let the show become "Katie all the time...."

"When I did the 'Evening News' I didn't have an opportunity to show those sides of myself -- I have to re-familiarize the audience with the kind of person I was on 'The Today Show' a little bit."

But..."I like to think I've been reporting the news the last 20 years [much longer, she admitted -- started at CNN in the very early days, later the Pentagon beat for NBC News, etc.] That'll help me perform in all kinds of situations."

Oh, yes, she got the Sarah Palin question. (Someone couldn't help themselves.) Had she invited both presidential candidates to the show (yes) and how about that former candidate? Yes: She had also invited Palin; not yet heard back from her.

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