Katie Couric ready for her closeup
HOLLYWOOD — She’s got a slogan: “Smart, with heart.” She’s got a theme song, This Day, written and recorded by pop diva Sheryl Crow. She’s got a studio — the former New York City site of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. And she’s got a new network home, ABC, and a fall première date, Sept. 10.
All in all, it sounds like Katie Couric is as ready as she’ll ever be to make the shift into the daytime talk-show realm.
“I’m one of those people who really likes new challenges,” the host of the new ABC (and, in Canada, Citytv) show Katie said this week during ABC’s portion of the U.S. networks’ semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles. “And I’m one of those people who is more than willing — I don’t know why — to put myself out there and try something new, come what may.
“And I think daytime, for me, is an exciting opportunity, because creatively, you get to build something from scratch, to get a blank canvas and to actually shape a program that tackles some of the things that you think are important, that you think people want to know more about, that they’re hungry for more information and a richer experience than just sort of getting headlines or listening to a three-minute interview.
“(It’s great) to not have to play beat the clock, and to roll up my sleeves and let a conversation breathe and have intelligence and humanity. I thought this would be an opportunity to do that, and I think that’s why I wanted to dive into this genre.”
Couric, 55, explained that the game plan for Katie will be to do the show live each weekday (though the show will be syndicated by ABC and therefore could air at different times in different markets), in order to allow her and her production team to react to ongoing events in the U.S. and beyond.
“In terms of what the show is going to look like, it’s still a work in progress, but I think it will be, at times, a singletopic show,” she offered. “And other times, it may be two topics in one show, sometimes even three. I think we’ll be talking about things as varied as the impact of technology on our relationships, on our children, sort of the best way to care for an aging parent. A quarter of the adult population in this country is now caring for an aging parent, and I think there are a lot of people who need guidance and help in that. It may be dating in your 40s and 50s; something that I can relate to.”
Among the recurring segments being considered are one called Women Who Should Be Famous, and another called YOLO (You Only Live Once, apparently inspired by a song by Canadian rapper Drake), which would see Couric and the Katie crew helping an ongoing series of lucky viewers to check items off their “bucket list.”
When asked what’s on her personal to-do-before-I-die list, Couric said she’d like to give skydiving a try.
“I’ve never jumped out of an airplane,” she said. “I’m a little afraid of heights, but I’d like to do that just because I think it would be exciting. I have no desire to bungee jump, though.
“And I’d like to star in a Broadway musical, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. When I auditioned for my high school musical, Carnival, they cast me actually as a deaf mute. That’s a true story, and it was very humiliating. So I went to my drama teacher ... and I objected. And he actually then gave me the role of a dancing bear. So I would love to be in a Broadway musical, even if I were just a part of the chorus and just got to be onstage, because I think that would be really exciting.
“And I’d like to go out with George Clooney, if you can arrange that.”
Katie Couric answers questions about her new daytime show
at ABC’s press tour
in Los Angeles.