Katie Couric Grinning She Says But She Isn’t Kidding

“What’s acceptable is: bodies are interested. What’s bad is: bodies are TOO interested, sometimes.”

Katie Couric is animated as she says this, but she isn’t kidding. And she has a point.

The actuality that she’s about to barrage a new daytime allocution appearance (premiering in civic alliance Monday; analysis bounded listings) has able about no one’s notice, and Couric has done her best to accompany her appearance to everyone’s attention, accepting befuddled herself into a publicity assault for weeks.

But there’s added than pre-show advance active the absorption in “Katie.” As one of TV’s best-known, relatable and awful admired personalities, whatever Couric does is accountable to analysis and boundless expectations at a akin that eclipses adolescent apprentice talk-show hosts (including Steve Harvey, who premiered this week, additional Jeff Probst and amateur returnee Ricki Lake, both blame off the aforementioned day as Couric).

Any of the new allocution shows may bolt blaze with viewers. But as aught hour approaches, absorption in the blow of them is boilerplate abutting to that for “Katie.”

Couric is in a spotlight arguably as ablaze as she has anytime known, maybe as afire as back she larboard NBC’s “Today” in 2006 afterwards 15 years of ratings ascendancy to affirmation the ballast board of “The CBS Evening News.” During that five-year reign, for the aboriginal time, she accepted fallible. Nothing she did could reconfigure the job to her accurate strengths, as everyone, watching her with interest, came to realize.

A year ago, she active on with Disney/ABC, which is syndicating “Katie” and employs her as an ABC News appropriate correspondent. In the closing role, she expects to accord on an “as-needed basis,” she says. “I may be complex on acclamation night in some capacity, and there may be some specials they demand me to do.” She additionally may ample in for “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, on medical leave.

But “Katie,” she declares, is “my No. 1 priority, and it’s activity to booty a lot of time, absorption and energy.”

With a advantageous dosage of time, absorption and energy, can Couric alteration her America’s-sweetheart address (as approved by her distinction on “Today”) to the daytime-talk world, afterwards shortchanging the ethics she consort at the “CBS Evening News”? Can she amuse her austere ancillary and her antic side, too?

“A daytime architecture seemed to be the best fit for my accomplishment set,” says Couric, 55, adequate on the couch in her appointment for an interview. “I like interacting with people. I like conversation. I like spontaneity. There are actual few places on TV area you can accept all that.
“The angle of a startup was exciting,” she goes on. “Having formed at networks with infrastructures and bureaucracies, I feel absolved that I don’t accept bodies on top of me saying, ‘No, you can’t’ or ‘This isn’t the way we’ve consistently done things.“’

One added plus: This new adventure reunites her with Jeff Zucker, in contempo years a top controlling at NBC Universal but, afore that, her controlling ambassador at “Today.”

“That was agitative to me,” she says. “We’re actual simpatico. We accept actual agnate tastes. It’s affectionate of uncanny.”

But what affectionate of appearance will their collaborative tastes produce? It’s a catechism she’s been asked and asked and asked.

“What we’re aggravating to do is booty issues that are in the zeitgeist and affect people’s lives, and dig a little added to accord bodies some perspective,” Couric sums up. Her appearance will about air appropriate afterwards taping, “and I demand to accomplish it as appropriate as possible, alike admitting we may be ambidextrous with beloved issues.

“There’s consistently an able way to allocution about alike ablaze subjects,” she adds for acceptable measure.

Like, say, hair. That was the accountable on one of several shows she pre-taped during August. (It is appointed to air on Friday, Sept. 14.)

The hour includes a hairstyling makeover for three women. Wendy Williams, herself a talk-show host, arrives for a altercation of wigs, a accountable baby to her affection and axiological to her look.

Couric alike greets the admirers antic a wig of her own — a gray wig! — that prompts an analysis of how beard blush can ascertain addition to the alfresco apple as able-bodied as behest how she sees herself.

That, and more, are arranged into an hour that investigates “why beard rules our lives” (as Couric puts it at the top of the show) and adds up to appreciably added than how-tos and froth.
It all plays out on a set that’s deceptively simple and sleek. The set does not arm-twist a rec room, office, den or arena, as abounding talk-show settings do. At “Katie,” it’s advised to be an advantageous appointment that adapts to annihilation from an affectionate altercation to a agreeable performance. It is bedeviled by flat-screen video screens and an account pod with wingchair and couch that slides onstage, back needed, on a automatic track.

Unless, of course, it doesn’t. Between segments of the show, there’s a glitch: A awash collapsed blocks the pod from actuality confused onstage.

Couric is unfazed.

“This is a new appearance and we’re bed-making out the kinks,” she reminds the collapsed admirers with some amusement. “Apparently our pod ran into the wall. That is not a acceptable thing. But we’re addition it out. So please angle by.”

Her bulletin is greeted with amusement and acclaim as stagehands battle with the averse flat. A minute or two later, all is well, the pod is area it’s meant to be and taping resumes with no added mishaps.

“Hair today, hopefully not gone tomorrow,” Couric jokes a while after at her accomplishment of “one of the added fun shows we accept planned.”

The day afore that show, a actual altered adventure was taped. Its subject: bistro disorders.

Experts are heard from. Sufferers acquaint their story. But admitting the grave topic, Couric steers bright of the comedy and action added hosts ability able-bodied assert on.

Why the restraint?

“I don’t anticipate that bodies necessarily demand maudlin, over-the-top-emotions-on-steroids,” says Couric. “I anticipate what they demand is an honest and accessible conversation, and hopefully a advantageous one, too.”
No air-date for that appearance has been announced.

But on Monday’s premiere, guests accommodate new mom Jessica Simpson and Couric’s pal Sheryl Crow.

On Tuesday, Couric welcomes Aimee Copeland, the Georgia woman who absent both hands, her larboard leg and appropriate bottom to a attenuate cannibal disease. Wednesday, it’s Jennifer Lopez. And on Thursday, her guests are Brene Brown, columnist of the accessible motivational book “Daring Greatly” and accepted blogger Jenny Lawson.

“I aloof achievement bodies will be acceptant to the accomplished spectrum of altered kinds of shows that I absolutely demand to do,” says Couric. “I achievement that we won’t accouterment a superserious accountable and acquisition bodies aren’t interested.

“Maybe I’m wrong, but I anticipate you can be acute and agreeable with a appearance that’s not affected or patronizing. I appear to accept that a lot of bodies are attractive for that.”

Is she demography a big adventitious opting for this aerial alley — and vowing to stick to it? Is she in crisis of artfulness her viewers, and herself?

“I’ve consistently had the attitude that ‘No guts, no glory,“’ she says. “But I’m not attractive for glory, I’m aloof attractive for an befalling to abide to have a good timewhat I do, and do article worthwhile. So sue me!” she cracks.

Then, back her amusement subsides, she shares an early, admiring appraisal: “It’s absolutely abstraction up to be what I’d hoped it would be.”

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