TCA: Couric Preps 'Katie' Launch
New talk show premieres Sept. 10 on stations covering 95% of the country
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/26/2012 4:51:07 PMComplete Coverage: TCA Summer Press Tour 2012
With less than two months to go before her new talk show, Katie, premieres on TV stations across the country, Katie Couric offered a glimpse into what the program will look like when it premieres on Sept. 10.
Speaking before reporters and TV critics at the summer press tour in Los Angeles, Couric said her new show will cover a range of topics designed to appeal to daytime's largely female audiences. The show will be shot at one of ABC's studios on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and it will range from segments about how to deal with the way technology impacts parents' relationships with children, how to care for aging parents, to dating when you are in your 40s and 50s, "something I can relate to," Couric joked.
There also will be "regular franchises on the show," such as one called "YOLO," (you only live once), "which is sort of a modern notion of a bucket list," said Couric. On Couric's own bucket list? Sky-diving and performing in a Broadway musical. Another segment will feature "women who should be famous, which will spotlight remarkable women."
"I was with the ABC marketing department the other day when they came up with this tagline, â€˜Smart with Heart.' I thought that was a great description of what I would like the show to be," Couric said. "I think I'm just a natural born extrovert. I've always been exceedingly outgoing and friendly. Probably overly so. I think my mother worried for my safety when I was a kid."
For the past few weeks, Couric has been traveling the country, meeting with the TV station general managers and marketers who will launch her new show.
"I think that there's probably a need to re-familiarize the audience with who I am in terms of being a natural, spontaneous, interactive host and a casual, less formal journalist," she says. "I haven't been on the Today show in six years and on the CBS Evening News I didn't have the opportunity to show those sides of myself."
Katie and her team, which includes former NBC CEO Jeff Zucker as executive producer, already have invited both major presidential candidates -- President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney "and their wives and anyone else in their families they would like to bring along" to be on the new talk show -- as well as former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, although they've gotten no response yet.
"I really like new challenges. I'm one of those people who is more than willing to put myself out there and try something new, come what may. This was an exciting opportunity to build something from scratch.
"I think people are hungry for a little more information and a richer experience than just getting headlines or listening to a three-minute interview. I like to let a conversation breathe and dig into topics with intelligence and humanity. I thought [doing this show] would be an opportunity to do that."
Katie will premiere Monday, Sept. 10, and will be taped in front of a live studio audience. The show's theme song, "This Day," was written and performed by Sheryl Crow, and played for the first time Thursday before Couric's panel session.
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