TV personality Katie Couric can say she’s done it all. She’s been a morning show host on “The Today Show” an evening news anchor on “The CBS Evening News” and a correspondent on the venerable news magazine show “60 Minutes.” Now she’s back to daytime in her own show, “Katie,” which debuted earlier this week. Despite some lukewarm reviews, the syndicated daytime show started off well – its debut garnered the highest ratings for a daytime talk show since “Dr. Phil” debuted back in 2002. And she’s carrying women – the people who matter the most in daytime – by huge percentages over newly minted daytime talk show hosts Steve Harvey, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst, reports The Washington Post.
So it makes sense that Katie’s first push is to women and, to that end, she’s lined up an impressive group in the next few weeks of her show. She’s already interviewed singer Sheryl Crow, flesh-eating bacteria survivor and multiple amputee Aimee Copeland and singer/new mother Jessica Simpson. TV-shy Barbara Streisand, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Wendy Williams, Demi Lovato, Sofia Vergara and “50 Shades of Grey” author E.L. James will all be joining “Katie” in the first three weeks her show is on the air. With the theme of new beginnings, Katie will explore how women making changes are handling them.
Dating violence will be covered as well with guests Sharon and Lexie Love, the mother and sister of murdered lacrosse player Yeardley Love scheduled to appear. (Love’s former boyfriend, George Wesley Huguely V was convicted of her murder last month and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.)
Given that the show is so female-centric, at least initially, it draws obvious comparisons to “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, which dominated daytime television for 25 years.
“It’s going to be a little bit different from what’s being offered in daytime, and explore important issues in the way that Oprah did,” Couric told TheDailyBeast.com. “Comparisons are inevitable, and I hesitate to bring that up. I’m a very different person from Oprah, with my own sensibilities and life experience.”
That life experience includes being a young widow (her husband died in 1998 from prostate cancer) dating a man 17 years younger and the criticism she received during her years on “The CBS Evening News.” She told “Access Hollywood” she expects to share some of her personal life, but maybe not to Oprah-esque levels.
“I’m not going to compromise my standards in a desperate search for ratings,” Couric told TheDailyBeast.com. “That doesn’t mean I’m not going to do fun things and light things and have a good time. [But]I don’t want it to be all about me.”