Katie Couric used a high-profile appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” to pitch her upcoming daytime talk show to America.
Her appearance with Jay Leno Thursday night was one of the first times she’s spoken publicly about the new show, titled “Katie” and being produced and developed by ABC as part of her current deal with ABC News.
“It’s been cleared in 90 percent of the country,” Couric reported — meaning that, for all intents and purposes, the show will be seen virtually everywhere (and it’s pretty certain the remaining 10 percent of the broadcast markets not yet nailed down will come on-line in time for the show’s premiere next Sept. 10).
“So I’m really excited,” she said, then launching into her pitch to America. “I just think it’s going to be a great opportunity to have a smart, but accessible conversation about a lot of things that we all need to know more about and want to know about, and it’s going to run the gamut from the impact of technology on our kids to Seal Team 6 — Who are these people? — to celebrities . . . I mean, I’m really excited because it’s really gonna run the gamut and I think if I have any talent, it’s interacting with people, talking to people . . .”
At this point, Leno presented a spoof promo spot for “Katie” that featured the kind of low-brow material we’ve come to expect from daytime talk shows — some crazy stunts and at least one heavyset woman from one of the other shows mooning the studio audience. Leno had fun with it, but it wasn’t certain that Couric appreciated the joke.
She also discussed “Dancing With the Stars,” repeating her oft-stated assertion that she’s a big fan of the show. She confirmed that she’s been asked to participate on the show, but she indicated that it’s doubtful she’ll ever do it.
She also told a wonderful story — told to her by Nancy Reagan just this week — about the close relationship between President Ronald Reagan and then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill.
Couric came on the Leno show primarily to promote her upcoming prime-time special on ABC, “The Year with Katie Couric,” a look back at 2011 airing Thursday, Dec. 15, at 9/8c.