Today show weatherman Al Roker kissed and made up with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on the program this morning when the mayor came to cut the ribbon on the show’s revamped Rockefeller Center outside space. It’s part of Today’s campaign to hang on to the ratings bump it enjoyed in Sochi, which put the show back on top of the morning show pile.
“We’ve got Mayor Bill de Blasio,” Roker announced, though he needn’t have bothered – the mayor was hard to miss, towering over the Today show team, and Roker barely came up to his shoulders. ‘We’ll get this out of the way,” Roker opened. “We had a little chat about school closings and snow; we both want the best for school kids and our city.” Read More »
Today show weatherman Al Roker apologized this morning on air from Sochi for suggesting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would be one term and out over his “goofball” decision to keep schools open in the thick of the latest winter storm.
One of the popular theories as to why NBC’s Today show is not grabbing the usual winning crowds it enjoys whenever it goes to an Olympics (its ratings have popped, but ABC’s Good Morning America was able to snag a bigger crowd this past Tuesday, for instance, though Today jumped back on top Wednesday) is that Today is getting pummeled by the weather. Not the surprisingly warm temperatures in Sochi, which is affecting conditions for several Olympics competitions, but the mondo snowstorm that was forecast for, and then hit, the U.S. East Coast. Particularly East Coast morning viewers looking for information about the storm barreling down on them might have been too distracted to watch Team Today each morning, interviewing U.S. medal winners, discussing Russian culture, and wearing eucalyptus-branch hats while soaking at a Russian bath house. That, even though Today at least one morning led its broadcast with a big storm report, and has included segments on the storm throughout its Sochi broadcasts.
Today weatherman Roker may have solved that problem when he gave himself a speaking part in the storm spectacle, launching a Twitter tirade against New York mayor Bill de Blasio over the latter’s decision to keep NY schools open Thursday despite severe weather warnings. This morning, Roker got a big fat plug across the media landscape when he apologized on Today for one of those tweets, in which he gave his “long-range forecast” that de Blasio would be a one-term mayor.
“We should mention, we’re going to do this in a tasteful way — this is not The Learning Channel,” Savannah Guthrie said at the top of the hour on the Today show this morning, when Matt Lauer and Al Roker got prostate exams live, on the air, on ratings-hungry Today. Turns out, a tasteful, live, on-air prostate exam involves watching Lauer open a door, enter another room, close the door, after which the Ladies of Today vamp for 34 seconds until Matt emerges from behind the door and his doctor pronounces his prostate small, smooth, and nodule-free. It’s not as dull as, say, CNN’s Crossfire, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy, about 13 years ago, on Today.
That live on-air colonoscopy changed how many Americans viewed the procedure. But back then, we watched Katie prep the night before, we listened to her talk about the death of her husband from colon cancer; Katie was sedated and therefore charmingly semi-loopy in her hospital gown at the hospital for the procedure. We watched in horror/fascination, as the little camera snaked its way up Katie’s intestine with Katie and her doctor proving commentary. It was gripping stuff. Matt and Al walking behind a door lacks drama. (continued)
More than 13 years ago, morning infotainment ratings leader Today aired Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy and changed how many Americans viewed that screening. Tomorrow, Matt Lauer and Al Roker will get prostate exams live, on the air, on the now-ratings-hungry morning show. When Today made a star of Couric’s colon in March 2000, nearly 6.7 million viewers tuned in to watch that day. To put that in perspective, it’s about how many viewers tuned in to Today for updatesthe morning after President Obama successfully pulled off the taking down of Osama bin Laden. Hoping to re-create the ratings magic, Lauer and Roker will get their prostates checked out, live, by a doctor and discuss the importance of prostate screening for men over 40.
When she left the show in June 2006, Couric said on her final broadcast that undergoing the first televised colonoscopy was her proudest accomplishment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Former Real Housewives Of New Jersey star Dina Manzo is returning to the docu-reality genre with a new series project chronicling her life. Manzo has signed a development deal with Al Roker‘s Al Roker Entertainment for the project, which “will document Dina’s new chapter.” Manzo recently announced her split from Tommy Manzo, her husband of seven years. The couple’s lavish 2005 wedding was documented on VH1′s My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding. “This collaboration will be an opportunity for Dina’s fans to go behind the scenes into her world — which is different than most people would expect,” Roker said. Added Manzo, “I think viewers will be surprised at the type of show this will be.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a late buy, NBC has put in development The Fosters, a comedy co-written by and starring Gary Anthony Williams (Weeds) and executive produced by one of the network’s top personalities, Today co-host/producer Al Roker. The project, which Williams will co-write with Sindy McKay based on an idea by Williams, McKay, Larry Swerdlove and Scott Ward, would have him starring as a father with numerous foster children. Roker, who became involved with the project because of his personal experience with foster kids, will executive produce with his executive at Al Roker Entertainment Tracie Brennan; McKay, Swerdlove, and Ward will co-executive produce. The comedy should not be confused with the ABC Family hourlong pilot The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, about a lesbian couple raising biological and foster kids. Read More »