Since December, when the Reporters Who Cover Television were jolted out of their post-November sweep slumber after spotting NBC News suits dining with Ryan Seacrest, there had been rampant speculation as to the future on “Today” of Matt Lauer, who had floated word he might opt to leave, and Curry, whose future on the show had looked iffier as the ratings sank.
“GMA” has beat “Today” in total viewers four of the last nine weeks, and it might be five of the past 10, based on early stats for last week’s ratings. “GMA” this season has cut in half its year-to-year ratings gap with “Today” and now stands the closest to the NBC show it’s been in the past 16 years.
Things looked a lot bleaker for our Nell in April, when two things happened the week Lauer’s old “Today” partner Katie Couric filled in at “GMA”:
1. Lauer announced that he had signed a new contract and would remain anchor-in-chief of the morning infotainment show.
2. “Today” producers announced they had signed a big mystery “get” for that week, who turned out be Vieira, returning to the show to announce she would help out with Summer Olympics coverage.
Curry’s expected to be gone by the time the “Today” gang leaves to cover the Games, according to the New York Times.
It’s likely Curry will be given another gig within the NBC News fold.
“We’re stuck with you, for a long time,” Curry said, joking with Lauer when he made his announcement — tragically, given the odds that were then being given on her prospects of remaining with the show.
NBC News execs declined to comment.
Haunted by rip-offs
CBS tried, unsuccessfully, to block the launch of ABC’s new reality series “The Glass House,” calling it a rip-off of its “Big Brother.” But Wednesday afternoon CBS announced — with tongue firmly in cheek — that it is developing a reality series called “Dancing on the Stars.”
“Dancing on the Stars,” CBS said, will be “an exciting and completely original reality program that owes its concept and execution to nobody at all.”
“Dancing on the Stars” will be broadcast from the celebrity-strewn Hollywood Forever Cemetery, CBS claimed. It will feature “moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.”
The cemetery houses the remains of such Hollywood luminaries as Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr., Tyrone Power and Terry, the dog that played Toto in “The Wizard of Oz.”