Katie Couric is gracing the “Good Morning America” television set this morning in an attempt to break the more than 16-year weekly ratings winner streak of “The Today Show.” Does she have what it takes? Follow the live updates below.
8:56: Time to say goodbye to Katie's first day co-hosting “Good Morning America.”
“I’m going to be out with Sting this morning,” she tells George. “It can’t get much better than this….Thank you George. I love you George!”
8:50: Katie also, wisely, skips interviewing Rachel Dratch about leaving NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” to star in an NBC sitcom, created by her longtime friend and “SNL” alum Tina Fey and exec produced by “SNL” chief Lorne Michaels, and then, humilatingly, getting replaced on the show and thinking “another job will come up.” But nothing came up.” NBC – so cold. Lorne Michaels – so cold. Tina Fey – so cold.
So she’s written a book about meeting a guy in a bar and dating him for a while and getting pregnant and now having a 19-month old baby boy and how her relationship with the father is now. “We’re neighbors and co-parents.”
Oh — and that “surprise legend” that NBC's “Today” show booked — its answer to the Katie Couric threat? Meredith Vieira. Geesh.
8:43: While Katie takes a break, George interviews South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — in case you thought he was going to turn over the big stuff to her too.
She pitches GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. She pitches her new book, “Can’t is Not an Option.”
George wonders if she’s agree to become Romney’s running mate.
“No interest at all,” Haley insists.
“I would not accept. I made a promise to the people of my state.”
8:31: Katie does a report on precocious puberty. Girls developing breasts as early as age 6. Katie puts on the glasses.
Chemicals, household products, family stress, homes without biological fathers, Katie explains. Not good.
“You can’t drive yourself crazy…you might have to have a discussion with your daughter earlier than you thought you were going to,” advises a doctor.
“It’s an alarming thing to hear when [your child] is developing early – in elementary school,” says the New York Times magazine writer who penned the story from which “GMA” got the story.
8:20: Time for Katie to Dance. She goofs around with “Dancing” host Tom Bergeron. “For one night only on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ – Katie Couric!”
“Who do you think is going to win?” Katie asks him.
“One of these couples – definitely,” he responds.
Gladys Knight tells Katie she’s “having so much fun.” Katie tells her she misses the Pips. Right on cue, a Pip shows up, shows Katie some moves.
Katie hugs Maks. “I’m really hating this assignment.”
She asks another celebrity dancer, telenovela star William Levy, whose billed on the show as the “Mexican Brad Pitt” if he is, in fact, called “The Mexican Brad Pitt.”
“No.” he responds. He’s called “William.”
“He really is cute, though,” Katie assures us, despite the disappointing interview.
Katie asks Jaleel White if he wants to win “the disco ball.”
“She called it ‘the Disco Ball’! We are not here competing for a disco ball, Katie!”
Does Katie really watch this show obsessively, as she insists?
8:07: Did we mention Katie’s going to do a segment in which she dances with Derek Hough from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”?
“You’ve got the moves!” George says of a short tape, again showing Katie’s great gams.
“You ready to do that next?” Goerge asks her.
“There is not enough anti-perspirant to prepare me for that job,” Katie insists. “ I don’t know how the people do it…People who aren’t dancers have the nerve to get out there and strut their stuff.”
8:04: “Everyone out there in Times Square is saying ‘hello’ to Katie Couric,” George says after a shot of the crowd outside “GMA” studio.
“No, they’re here for everybody,” Katie says modestly.
George notes Katie had to travel a little further west this morning – NBC’s “Today” show, where Katie worked many years, is a few blocks to the east.
“I admit I got a little lost along the way,” Katie says, by way of segueing into a taped bit of Katie getting into her limo, being driven to the studio – “Today” show studio! “No, no not THIS morning show!” she tells the driver.
Tape shows Katie practicing the words “Good Morning America!”
7:51: Katie’s on the couch with the GMA crowd.
They want to show her some cute video.
Of some big antelope-like creature knocking over a bicycling guy on a large grassy knoll. The guy was okay, they assure Katie.
Of a little girl hyperventilating as she tries to blow out a super-huge birthday (?) candle.
Of a St. Bernard that can balance most anything on its nose.
Of a walrus doing sit-ups.
”That is so cute! Where was that walrus?” asks intrepid journalist Katie.
“That’s a very good question,” is GMA’s answer. “GMA” needs to up its game if it’s going to play with Katie.
7:46: Coming up — Katie dances!
7:45: Katie stays away from story about “hocking sex scandal” about a high school teacher and NFL cheerleader, accused of having sex with a former student, who’s a minor.
“This one’s a doozy,” Linsey Davis tells George.
7:38: Katie refs a verbal scuffle between Dan Abrams and Nancy Grace, over dead “missing mom,” whose husband subsequently killed their kids and killed himself. Katie has never had to ref a he said/she said on morning infotainment TV before. Apparently she had a great contract. She shows them she has a whistle, and she’s not afraid to use it.
“They died by an axe to the neck — They died of a chop to the neck, Katie!” Nancy shrieks of the murdered children.
“I think the blame goes on the people who didn’t charge him,” Dan says earnestly.
“You’ll have to discuss this during the commercial break. I’m just happy I didn’t have to use my whistle.. It’s a tragedy and a very upsetting story,” Katie says. Katie has new glasses.
7:31: “As you know, I’m riding shotgun. I’m a little rusty,” Katie tells George as he once again welcomes her back to morning infotainment TV.
Katie will report behind the scenes on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
“I never miss ‘Dancing with the Stars’,” she effuses. “It’s so much fun going behind the scenes.” Shot of Katie’s great gams. “I pretty much oogled Maks.”
7:19: One harrowing report about woman who plunged into creek in deep snow and nearly suffocated later, it’s time for an ad break. Katie had gotten through her first segment on morning infotainment TV. Katie’s back where she belongs.
7:16: George, Jake, and Katie mull former President Clinton having opened the door again for wife Hillary Clinton to run for president in the future in the course of the tapes interview.
“Her schedule has been insane!” Katie contributes.
7:15: Much “Hi, Katie!”-ing from various “GMA” regulars during reports on the mega-lottery mess. President Clinton pitches in to the historic broadcast — Katie’s co-hosting gig on “GMA” is expected to explode ”Today” show’s more than 16-year record as weekly ratings winner. Clinton’s appearance is in a taped interview, though, and not with Katie.
7:07:Tape of Katie waking to “I’m sexy and I know it,” gargling, guzzling coffee from yellow happy face mug, chugging cereal from the box.
7:06: “I’m happy to be here, George. It’s a little strange and I’m a little nervous…I first woke up at 1:15 and I’m ready to go! Yes, I got back to sleep.”
7:04:Katie’s going to dance on “Dancing with the Stars!”
7:03: “Look who’s back in the morning,” George gushes.
7:00: “I’m Katie Couric. Good Morning America!” says, well Katie Couric, diving back into morning infotainment TV Monday morning, only on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and siting next to George Stephanopoulos.