As expected, Meredith Vieira is going daily -- NBC just handed her a daytime talker, to launch in 2014. Name: "The Meredith Vieira Show."
Yes, this had been expected, and yes, this will also likely air on NBC stations, meaning Katie Couric could get some competition from her "Today" successor -- if indeed NBC decides to air this at 3 p.m., which seems kind of unlikely since Steve Harvey is doing so well there.
Below are the canned quotes from Vieira, who left "Today" a few years ago, citing a need to spend more time with her family. (And a need to sleep a little later each morning.) And, of course, daytime talk is not a slam dunk at all: This is the grindhouse of TV, which people assume is easy but is absolutely the exact opposite, requiring a skill set that only partially is applied to the on-air product. Foremost, there's a lot of hand holding to do with stations around the country -- the fate of any show is in their hands -- while the editorial challenge requires a certain degree of intestinal fortitude. That's a nice way of saying you have to put a lot of junk and fluff on the air. Vieira left "The View" for a lot of reasons, though she certainly established there that she has what it takes for this kind of gig. How will she do as a solo act? We and she will see ... .
“As a journalist on Today and 60 Minutes, I learned how to really listen to people and help give them a voice. On The View, I unleashed my own opinionated self and discovered the empowerment that comes with sometimes heated, but always respectful, discussion. And on Millionaire, I relished the joy of changing people's lives while having pure fun,” said Meredith Vieira. “All of these experiences, along with being a wife and mom, have led me here because they all share one common denominator... this fundamental need we have to connect with and find inspiration in each other.” “Each day, I hope to accomplish what I call the three H's: Heat, Heart and Humor,” said Vieira. “And speaking of the heart, I want to thank my husband, Richard, and kids, Ben, Gabe and Lily for strongly encouraging me to take this incredible opportunity… or else they really just want to get me out of the house.”