Disney-ABC and Katie Couric made it official today, announcing that Couric’s syndicated daytime talk show will not go beyond the original two-year. “While production will continue on Katie through June 2014, we’ve mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show,” the two parties said in a joint statement. “We’re very proud of everyone’s contributions to making Katie the #1 new syndicated talk show of 2012-2013, and we look forward to the rest of the season.” Couric is expected to give the news to the show’s staff after today’s taping, the last before the scheduled holiday break until January.
The show’s cancellation was widely expected. Launching with a lot of promise — headlined by Couric and her former Today executive producer Jeff Zucker — Katie had a rocky freshman season. After a strong opening, it slipped in the ratings. Its numbers eventually leveled off and Katie remained No. 1 in households among all freshmen for the entire season, but was running neck and neck with fellow rookie Steve Harvey, which edged Katie in the key women 25-54 demographic for the second part of the season. There has been more of the same this fall. Katie never broke through to join the upper echelon of talkers like Dr. Phil and Ellen but never tanked either. However, while ratings have been decent overall, the show didn’t do enough for its core ABC station group, posting time period declines and hurting the stations’ newscast that follow it. And Katie‘s biggest problem was its big price tag, said to be $30 million-$40 million a year.
Related: Yahoo Announces Deal With Katie Couric
Katie also has been struggling with its identity, with Couric, who also serves as exec producer, reportedly pushing for newsmaking interviews and more serious journalistic approach normally reserved for in-depth news programs like 60 Minutes as opposed to daytime TV’s conventional emphasis on lighter fare and celebrities. (Katie drew its largest audience with the Manti Te’o interview, which averaged almost 3.8 million viewers in January.) The search for direction was acerbated by the departure of Zucker, who had been a strong authoritative figure early on. There have been a slew of behind-the-scenes changes during Katie’s first year on the air: Zucker and co-exec producer Michael Bass left for CNN, with Michael Morrison and Ethan Nelson joining in January as executive producer and co-exec producer, respectively. Both were gone by the end of the season, along with co-executive producer Kathy Samuels and director Joseph Terry, with Rachel Miskowiec taking the reins for Season 2. Read More »
Katie Couric officially is heading online with a Yahoo deal that had been rumored for months. The Web giant announced this morning the Couric will serve as global anchor beginning in 2014, working with “a growing team of global correspondents who will report on live world events, anchor groundbreaking interviews with major newsmakers and thought leaders, and much more.” Said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, “Katie’s depth of experience, her intellectual curiosity, and her charisma make her the perfect choice to anchor Yahoo News and the whole Yahoo Network.” Couric and Yahoo executives are still in the early stages of developing ideas for what the scope of her presence will be, with town hall meetings among a number of interactive possibilities. Why taking on an Internet gig? “I’ve done pretty much everything else in television up until now — I hosted the Today show, I anchored the CBS Evening News and I’ve done a syndicated show,” Couric told Deadline. “If you look at the next frontier where content is going and how people are consuming it, it is in the digital space.” Couric is not new to the space, having launched the @KatieCouric online interview show while at CBS News and utilizing Twitter and Facebook questions on her syndicated show. “I like the idea of unlimited real estate, doing interviews that are interesting to a global audience.”
Related: ABC News Parts Company With Katie Couric
By signing with Yahoo, Couric ended a few months early her agreement with ABC News, which was part of the Disney-ABC package for her syndicated talk show. Couric, who has done little for ABC News in the past year while working on her show, is not severing ties completely. “It is still a very symbiotic relationship,” she said. “As ABC News has said, it wouldn’t be surprising if they would utilize my content on their platform.” (ABC News has an online partnership with Yahoo.) A partnership that is not in the cards, at least for now — with CNN and Couric’s former producer Jeff Zucker. Read More »
Katie Couric‘s syndicated daytime talk show will be entering its second season with an entirely new team of senior producers and a director. Two weeks after Rachel Miskowiec was brought in as new executive producer, she has made a staffing changes, with co-executive producers Kathy Samuels and Ethan Nelson as well as director Joseph Terry departing. Katie launched last fall with Jeff Zucker as executive producer and Samuels and Michael Bass as co-exec producers. Zucker and Bass have since left for CNN, with Michael Morrison and Nelson joining in January as executive producer and co-exec producer, respectively. (Matt Strauss also was bumped to co-EP then.) Morrison left late last month, replaced by Miskowiec, who is expected to install her own team.
Related: Katie Couric Was Courted To Return To ‘Today’: Video
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EXCLUSIVE: The rumored post-season changeover at Katie Couric’s daytime syndicated talk show is a reality. I’ve learned that veteran daytime talk show producer Rachel Miskowiec will be joining Katie as executive producer for the upcoming second season. She … Read More »
Disney-ABC Domestic Television has formally renewed Katie Couric‘s freshman syndicated talk show Katie for a second season. The show has been renewed on its existing stations in over 95% of the country, including the ABC Owned … Read More »
The second “big get” interview in as many weeks has landed outside the broadcast networks’ news divisions, once the go-to place for most figures at the center of a controversy. Katie Couric will conduct the first on-camera … Read More »
I’ve learned that Disney-ABC Domestic Television is finalizing a deal with Michael Morrison to join Katie Couric‘s freshman talk show Katie as executive producer. I hear the hire will be announced to the staff of the show on Thursday. Morrison will take over showrunner responsibilities from departing executive producer Jeff Zucker, who co-owns the show with Couric. Morrison’s appointment allows continuity as Zucker is slated to leave for his new job as president of CNN Worldwide at the beginning of next month.
In anticipation of Zucker’s exit, Disney-ABC began quietly meeting with potential candidates to succeed Zucker at the helm of the show in October. When Zucker’s appointment at CNN was announced at the end of last month, the search accelerated and was quickly narrowed to several candidates with the goal to have someone in place by the end of the year. On Katie, Morrison joins Zucker’s lieutenants on the show: co-executive producers Michael Bass and Kathy Samuels. Read More »
Jeff Zucker could not have asked for better timing — on the morning his appointment as president of CNN Worldwide was announced, the latest ratings for his syndicated show Katie showed the talker hitting all-time highs. For the week of November 12, Katie Couric‘s daytime talk show drew a 2.1 household rating and 2.7 million viewers, its best weekly numbers ever and up 17% week-to-week in both categories. In women 25-54 (1.1 rating), Katie tied its best-ever weekly rating. Zucker and Couric co-own the show, on which Zucker has served as executive producer/showrunner. “I’m very excited that Jeff has such a wonderful opportunity at CNN and equally excited for CNN,” Couric said today. “I’m also grateful that Jeff has been so instrumental in getting our show off to such a strong start and look forward to working with the fantastic staff we’ve assembled and building on the strong foundation we’ve created.”
That staff includes Zucker’s lieutenants on the show: co-executive producers Michael Bass and Kathy Samuels. In anticipation of Zucker’s exit, Zucker, Couric and the company behind Katie, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, have been quietly meeting with potential candidates to succeed Zucker at the helm of the show. Now that Zucker’s departure is certain, the search is expected to pick up steam and the expectation is to have someone in place by the end of the year, providing a smooth transition as Zucker is slated to leave the show in early January. Read More »
I hear Disney-ABC has launched a search for top-level producer(s) to take the reins of Katie Couric‘s syndicated daytime talk show. The contingency plan is being put in place as speculation intensifies that Katie executive producer Jeff Zucker would be leaving the freshman talker. I hear talks with potential candidates are under way, and a hire is expected within the next couple of weeks. Zucker has a major financial interest in Katie (some sources indicate he is poised to pocket $8 million from the $20 million guarantee to Couric and him), and is not likely to leave without a succession plan in place. But, having run one of the biggest media companies in the world, NBC Universal, he has been expected to jump back to the executive ranks. He currently has two lieutenants on the show: co-executive producers Michael Bass and Kathy Samuels.
There has been chatter about Zucker being courted for several top jobs, including CEO of Tribune, but attention has focused recently on the vacancy at CNN. With his strong news background, Zucker is considered a leading candidate to succeed CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton when he departs at the end of the year. Such timing would work for providing a smooth transition on Katie, which has a two-year deal with the ABC stations. (There are several other names bandied about for the CNN job including MSNBC head Phil Griffin and usual suspects David Westin, Andrew Heyward and Neal Shapiro). Read More »
Uh-oh. In its fourth airing on Thursday, Katie Couric’s new syndicated talk show dropped 26% in households to a 1.7/5 in the metered markets and 38% to a 0.8/5 in the key Women 25-54 demographic. In households, … Read More »
UPDATE, 12 PM: The numbers for all of yesterday’s daytime syndicated talk shows are in. Not surprisingly, the 10th-season premiere of Ellen featuring guests Patrick Dempsey, Pink and the Fierce Five, came up on top with a 3.0 household rating/8 share in the metered markets, 50% time period improvement vs. last year, and a 2.2/12 in women 25-54, the highest-ever demo number for an Ellen season premiere. Kelly & Michael (2.9 HH, 1.7 W25-54) was second, followed by the fourth-season premiere of Dr. Oz (2.8, 1.6) and Katie (2.8, 1.6). Dr. Oz was No. 1 in cumed household ratings. Ricki Lake (0.8, 0.4) was dead last among all new and returning talk shows, with Jeff Probst (1.0, 0.7) doing only a little better. Yesterday’s rankings should carry an asterisk as top talk show Dr. Phil was a repeat and will launch its new season today.
PREVIOUS 8 AM: Katie Couric‘s new syndicated talk show Katie got off to a strong start yesterday with a 2.8 household rating/8 share in the 56 U.S. metered markets to lead the pack of new daytime talk shows by a large margin. It equaled the highest daytime talk show opener in the last decade, Rachael Ray, in 2006 (2.8), the best premiere since Dr. Phil‘s 5.2 rating in September 2002. Katie, which featured guest Jessica Simpson, built on its lead-in by 12% and improved its time period year-to-year by 22%. (The show replaced soap General Hospital in about half of the country, with the soap now serving as its lead-in.)
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Katie Couric chose her words carefully in an interview with Good Housekeeping when asked about her experience at CBS while anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. While proud of the work she did, Couric said … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The cast and executive producer of the ABC soap General Hospital appeared before critics this morning at TCA, looking and sounding like people thrilled simply to still have jobs. The fate of most of their cohorts on One Life To Live and All My Children weren’t so lucky, with only a few of the cast members — and producer Frank Valentini — absorbed into GH. It was touch-and-go whether even General Hospital would survive the ax. But it’s back, and as Valentini said, the fact a panel for the show was arranged shows a certain support for the show going forward. “They invited us here, and to me that’s a great sign,” he noted. “They’re behind this 100% and very excited about the 50th anniversary coming up. I’m pretty confident. You just need to watch the show to sort of catch the energy and the momentum that we have, and the network’s a big part of that.” One of the challenges for the show going forward is that it’s being displaced from its longtime 3 PM perch by Katie Couric’s new syndie talk show Katie. But Valentini did his best to put a positive spin on things, calling the time slot change “great” in that it will “shake up the lineup a little bit. And the network is doing a big push to inform the audience about the change.” Read More »