Katie Couric’s talk show faces stiff challenges that may prevent it from surviving past this current season to a Season Three next year, according to a sensational new report.
The new report, from The Hollywood Reporter, is an in-depth look at the once highly-touted syndicated show, which just began its second season last month.
Even though the show is only a few weeks into Season Two, the story says the local stations that carry the show around the country are poised to make their third-season renewal decisions as early as this month, in order to get a jump on their planning for next season. They’ll need to start making those plans soon, especially if they decide to jettison Couric’s show.
The story — which you can read here on the Hollywood Reporter Web site — paints a pretty dismal picture of the uphill battle confronting a show that has fallen far short of expectations in the ratings since it premiered in September 2012.
As a result, the stations that carry it are considering cutting it loose, according to the story, which lists a number of specific circumstances that, taken together, could combine to doom the program.
1) Ratings: With Couric’s show — titled “Katie” — underperforming in the ratings in time periods leading into local newscasts, local stations are seeing ratings declines for their early-evening news shows. If local station managers see any other syndicated show on the horizon with the potential to make up that shortfall, they’ll dump “Katie” for something new.
2) Couric has lost her appeal among the female viewers who watch daytime TV (if she ever had it in the first place): “She has a complete and utter disdain for the audience she needs to appeal to,” says one unnamed insider — a “former employee” quoted in the story. “In her mind, [her old show] ‘The Today Show,’ was [the model] — professional women getting ready for work. Anyone home after 9 [a.m.] are people she has no interest in appealing to,” said the source, who apparently added, “But [Couric] also loved the $20 million paycheck” (her rumored annual salary for hosting the show).
3) Dissension behind-the-scenes: The show has been a revolving door for top producers — in just a little over a year, at least six top producers and directors have left, according to the story. Reading between the lines, at least some of the exits can be attributed to clashes over the direction of the show — disagreements that probably put some of these top producers at odds with the show’s star, according to THR’s unnamed sources.
“Katie” is produced and distributed by Disney/ABC.