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"Katie" -- the show starring and hosted by one very famous Katie -- has been canceled.
In a statement, Couric and ABC said: "While production will continue on “Katie” through June 2014, we’ve mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show. We’re very proud of everyone’s contributions to making Katie the No. 1 new syndicated talk show of 2012-2013, and we look forward to the rest of the season."
News of the decision was first reported by the Huffington Post.
While a high-profile ending, it was expected -- despite what looked to be an uptick in viewership during the just-concluded November sweeps. But uptick enough the ratings did not do. Couric herself had sealed a long-term deal with Yahoo as the websites worldwide anchor, which seemed to negate (if not outright eliminate) a future on syndication.
Katie Couric, one of the more celebrated broadcasters of the past 20 years, will forsake broadcast news in 2014 when she joins Yahoo as "global anchor." But because her syndicated show is expected to end next year as well maybe it's time now to consider this possibility: Is broadcasting about to forsake Couric?
Her five-year run on "CBS Evening News," which ended in 2011, was considered a disappointment. Her ongoing role at ABC News has largely been invisible. Her talk show -- better than anyone has ever given it credit for, which can actually be a liability in daytime -- has also been a washout, ratings-wise.
If this was baseball, that would add up to three strikes. This isn't baseball even though the outcome could turn out to be the same: Three strikes. Adios.
Then, there's the other way of looking at this. Couric is deepening her ties with one of the Internet's most important destinations, under vigorous new leadership. Chief executive Marissa Mayer, a web pioneer and recent arrival from Google, wants to revive this still-potent brand with fresh talent and energy. At the very least, the future here looks interesting.
The future of broadcasting looks interesting, too, with broad viewership declines, and franchise programs and legacy networks fighting for every warm body. Those bodies are harder to find because they have their noses buried in the mobile devices where they'll soon be able to see a new "global anchor" for Yahoo.
"Joining Yahoo," said Couric in a statement, "offers a tremendous opportunity to reach people all around the world in the way that they're using and consuming media today."
What else would you expect her to say? Except . . . she's right.