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We get up close and personal with the host about her September premiere

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Aug 23, 2012 7:29AM

With Katie Couric's new talk show set to premiere Monday, Sept. 10, MSN TV got up close and personal with the host to see how things are coming together at "Katie." 


Bing: Katie Couric    


As previously reported, the former "Today" and "CBS Evening News" anchor said "Katie" was "still a work in progress" when she hit the TCA Press Tour July 26. During her panel, Couric revealed her plans to take on a variety of topics, from serious events like the recent Aurora shooting to lighter issues like dating in your 40s and 50s. She also talked about creating recurring franchise segments, including Women Who Should Be Famous and YOLO (You Only Live Once) adventures. 


The "Katie" guest list remains hush-hush, but Couric told the press she's invited the presidential candidates and Sarah Palin to her show, which will feature newsmakers, celebrities and everyday people. 

 
 
Here's what Couric had to say when MSN TV caught up with her after the panel. 
 

MSN TV: You've worked in every part of TV at this point.

 

Katie Couric: Not late night!

 

That's next, right? But you've done morning and evening news, and now you're moving to afternoon talk, which is considered a more personal medium. Are we going to get to know you even better?

 

"The Today Show" is a pretty good example of that, where I would give my perspective about things without [going overboard]. I just don't want it to be me, me, me. But I do want to be open. It's a fine line. For example, I don't mean to dwell on dating in your 40s and 50s -- this is the third time I've mentioned it today! -- but I might talk about my philosophy, my approach and how I've handled it, without talking about the date I had the night before.

 

What do your daughters have say about all this?

 

When I started at "The Today Show," I was pregnant with my oldest daughter Allie, who just turned 21. I would talk about them on the show. And one time, something got printed in some women's magazine. When my daughter was old enough to read it, she said, "Hey, cut it out. Stop talking about me." So I've always tried to be respectful of them and not divulge too much. They understand they may come up if we're talking about "inside the teenage brain." I might recount my experiences with my own 16-year-old daughter, who doesn't want to be in the same zip code as me. But in general, I try to be respectful, and we have a great relationship. They understand there are times when I naturally -- and only when it's natural -- reveal things that have happened to me, personally. But I try not to do it too much.


You've been popping up on ABC over the last year, and it's felt like the old Katie. Is there something there that makes you comfortable?

 

I did that Diamond Jubilee special with the Queen and was able to talk to William and Harry. They gave me room and permission to be who I was and do a show that was fun and relaxed and had some personality.

 

Is it better when there isn't all that pressure? With the attention you received at CBS, it seemed like anything you did was magnified.

 

I don't really pay attention to all that. I focus on the work and doing a good job.

 

Are you totally over the drama during your time with "CBS Evening News"?

 

I was sort of over that after the first year. I am glad I did it. It was a great experience for me. We did great work. We won tons of awards. We were considered the hardest news broadcast by people who evaluate such things. So I feel good about the work I did, and I did a pretty important interview while I was there, as well.


With "Katie," you have the opportunity to be involved in producing the show, along with Jeff Zucker. In what ways are you taking advantage of that?

 

In terms of editorial decisions? To be honest with you, I've always been very vocal and very involved in the content of any show I've worked on. I'm not the kind of "talent" that comes in and is handed a script. I was very involved in the editorial content of "The Today Show" and "CBS Evening News." This just gives me an opportunity to work with Jeff again and have input with him.

 

What about decisions that go beyond the editorial, like creating your new set?


It's exciting. Obviously I'm involved in every decision about the set, what I'm looking for, what I want. I also defer to people who have a lot of experience in this area. This is my first foray into a syndicated show, so I don't have all the answers. It's like starting a small business. It's like a TV start-up, in a way, so I'm very involved in every decision. And when I'm not, I let them know that I want to be.


What differences are you finding in syndication?

 

It's very liberating because you don't have a lot of network bureaucrats telling you can't do something.

  

How have you been preparing for the big premiere?


We're doing some test shows in August (see photo from Aug. 2 test on left), and I'll get a sense from that. I'm excited about that. Slightly trepidatious, but excited. As somebody who is interested in content, every day I think, "We should do a story on this" or "How could we do the Aurora store differently?" I'm constantly reading, and I've been visiting a lot of stations, because in this genre, you have to have a strong relationship with the local stations.


You're also currently hosting a weekly ABC News web series, "Katie's Take." How will "Katie" incorporate the Internet?

 

Social media is going to be a big part of the show because it makes the conversation broader and more inclusive. Talk about being connected to your audience! Social media allows you to hear what they have to say -- the good the bad and the ugly. Block! Also just to get their input and understand what they want to learn about if we have a specific guest. I'm obviously going to ask my Twitter followers if they have a question for those people or there's an issue. You can also now use social media to find great guests. I'm attracted to stories about ordinary people who have exhibited extraordinary personal courage. You're going to be seeing a lot of that on my show.


Several shows launched last year with an eye to filling the void left by Oprah Winfrey and faltered. What can you learn from their struggle?

 

I'm not a big fan of comparison shopping. I just want to do the best job and really be who I am and not be affected by other programs or the way they're doing it. I just want to try my best to do the best I can and let the chips fall where they may.

 

With the premiere date fast approaching, are you nervous?

 

I think I'm a little scared, which is good. If I weren't, I would worry!


"Katie" premieres Monday, Sept. 10, in syndication. 

 

Plus, watch this DVD extra interview clip with James Earl Jones

By MSN TV Partner Tue 12:47 PM
"The Big Bang Theory" begins its eighth season on Monday Sept. 22, then switches to its regular Thursday timeslot on October 30.

If that's too much to handle, why not get a copy of last season on DVD, now available in stores and online. Bazinga!

Now you can enter to win one of five DVDs of "The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season," courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Best of all, one lucky winner will receive a signed copy of the Blu-Ray edition!

Here's how to enter:
  1. Follow MSN TV on Twitter or Facebook
  2. Tweet or comment the following message: "I want to win the #TBBT giveaway"
  3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.com with the following subject (include your twitter handle or Facebook name): "I want to win the #TBBT giveaway"
Complete these steps by midnight PT Sept. 22, 2014. We will select up to five winners, plus one winner for the grand prize, at random by noon PT Sept. 23, 2014.

Watch this DVD extra clip featuring that dishes about how TBBT producers got the voice of Darth Vader himself guest star on the show:
"The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season" is available in stores and online.
Season 8 of "The Big Bang Theory" premieres Sept 22 at 8 p.m. on CBS.


Other giveaway details:
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • NO P.O. boxes, please.
  • We will not distribute your email address.
  • Your email will only be used to notify you if you are the winner of this giveaway.
  • The prize will be shipped directly from Warner Bros. to the winners.

 

Plus, watch a DVD extra clip, 'Bound by blood'

By MSN TV Partner Sep 9, 2014 10:58AM
"Supernatural" returns this to The CW in October for its 10th season. If you need a fix now, "Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season" arrives in stores and online today.

Even better, MSN TV is giving away the DVD to this fan favorite. Here's how to enter:
  1. Follow MSN TV on Twitter or Facebook
  2. Tweet or comment the following message: "I want to win the #Supernatural giveaway"
  3. Email msn_tv_buzz@hotmail.com with the following subject (include your twitter handle or Facebook name): "I want to win the #Supernatural giveaway"
Complete these steps by midnight PT Sept. 15, 2014. We will select up to five winners at random by noon PT Sept. 16, 2014.

But wait, there's more! Watch this DVD extra clip, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into the life-or-death decisions Dean has to make about his brother:
"Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season" is available in stores and online.
Season 10 of "Supernatural" returns to the CW on Oct. 7.


Other giveaway details:
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • NO P.O. boxes, please.
  • We will not distribute your email address.
  • Your email will only be used to notify you if you are the winner of this giveaway.
  • The prize will be shipped directly from Warner Bros. to the winners.

 

Will the E.R. doc win it all?

By MSN TV Partner Sep 5, 2014 12:59PM
Wannabe ninjas have been waiting for this moment all summer. The "American Ninja Warrior" finals, held in Las Vegas, will wrap up what's been a season of incredible feats and firsts.

Fan favorite Noah Kaufman is among the finalists. His appearance on the show last year was, as he says "from the couch" or without much training. For this season he got a little (or maybe a lot) more serious, and it shows in his performance.

Watch this exclusive clip of Noah's finals start here:

"American Ninja Warrior" airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
An encore presentation airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Esquire Network.


 

By MSN TV Partner Sep 3, 2014 10:30AM
Iin tonight's episode of "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" you'll see the story of of how Josh Flagg ended up in a golden wheelchair. Will this stop him from closing a big deal?

Meanwhile Josh Altman is getting caught up in wedding planning, but without Heather!? We've got this hilarious exclusive clip for you here:

"Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

 

Wait, Donald's a nervous sailor? But that outfit...

By MSN TV Partner Aug 7, 2014 4:44PM
In homage to the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons, Disney Channel has been showing "Mickey Mouse" shorts, featuring Mickey and his BFFs, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Hilarious situations that are fun for kids and grown-ups alike.

In this new short premiering tomorrow, Donald reveals he doesn’t know how to sail - his outfit is purely due to the fact that Daisy loves a, um, man in uniform.

MSN TV has this exclusive image from the short. You can also view a clip here:

The Mickey Mouse short "Donald the Sailor" airs at 8:55 p.m. ET/PT on Friday August 8 on Disney Channel.
 

Geek alert: 'Mythbusters' hosts lend their voices in this special episode

By MSN TV Partner Jul 24, 2014 2:24PM
Loads of fans are getting their geek on at Comic-Con this weekend. For the rest of us, there is the upcoming "Star Wars" themed "Phineas & Ferb" special episode. The animated stepbrothers and their friends will find themselves in a parallel universe, during "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope". Expect encounters with the major players, including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.

MSN TV has this exclusive image of "Mythbusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as members of the Empire:

Creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh expressed their excitement about adding Savage and Hyneman to the cast: "We’ve been wanting to do something with them for ages, because they are the living adult versions of Phineas and Ferb in the real world. We ran into them at Comic-Con last year and knew that they worked on the original 'Star Wars', so when this opportunity came up we asked if they could come voice a few characters for us. It was really cool for us; we're hoping it was cool for them."

It's definitely cool for us!

"Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars" premieres July 26 at 9PM ET/PT on Disney Channel.
 

The animated host reveals her thoughts on new twists for Season 16

By MSN TV Partner Jun 24, 2014 9:07AM
Last week CBS announced some new twists in the upcoming season of "Big Brother" and also introduced the new cast. Just in time for the two-night premiere, MSN TV has exclusive photos of host Julie Chen hamming it up for the cameras. Chen also shared a little bit more insight into what to expect this season.

Photos: Reality TV villains

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn which of the new twists will have the most impact on Houseguest survival week after week:
Julie Chen: "I think "Battle of the Block" will have the most impact on a Houseguest's ability to survive.  First, those competing in it will literally be fighting for their lives in the game.  Second, it will get one of the HOHs (Head of Households) into BIG trouble.  Let’s just say that if I were HOH, I would nominate two weak players."

Video: Meet the new 'Big Brother' houseguests


Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS
On the rooms and design of this season's tree house theme:
"My favorite room in the urban tree house this year is the honeycomb room.  It's cozy and secluded.  A perfect spot to 'buzz' with your alliance members about your team's strategy.  The room has a door you can close for piracy from others.  This is key to have in the house if you want to scheme!"

Video: Take a tour of the 'Big Brother' Tree house

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBSOn her most memorable "Big Brother" interview:
"One of my memorable Big Brother interviews was last year with Aaryn.   I had to check my feelings and ego at the door and set aside any personal bad feelings I had for her ugly comments.  I had to do my job and be fair and straight despite how personally offended I was.  It wasn't easy, but it was memorable." 

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS

"Big Brother" premieres June 25 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

(Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS) 

Wayne Brady's improv skills nab a nomination for best original song, a first for the show

By MSN TV Partner Jun 18, 2014 11:06AM
The Daytime Emmy Awards are around the corner, and CBS' "Let's Make a Deal" has three nominations. In addition to Best Game Show, host Wayne Brady is nominated twice. No surprise that Brady picked up his fifth nomination for Best Game Show Host, but thanks to those stellar improv skills Brady also finds himself in the Best Original Song category. With the help of keyboardist Cat Gray, watch Brady create this impromptu tune for adoring fan and contestant Daphne:
Over the years, Brady has collected a number of Emmy nominations, and won twice for Best Talk Show Host (for "The Wayne Brady Show"). He also won a Primetime Emmy for his work on "Whose Line Is It Anyway."

The current version of "Let's Make A Deal" has been nominated for Best Game Show twice. This is the first time the show's been nominated in the Best Song category.

"Let's Make A Deal" airs weekdays on CBS. The 41st Daytime Emmys Awards will be live streamed at 8PM ET on June 22 at www.daytimeemmys.net.