Vieira monkeys around

Where in the world was Matt Lauer?

Well, on Wednesday morning he and co-anchors Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and feature reporter Al Roker took the stage during the TV critics press tour in Pasadena.

“I need to apologize at this point,” Vieira said barely before the first press question was uttered. “Because I can’t get over the fact that I kissed a monkey this morning on the `Today’ show. I initiated it, and, quite frankly, I can’t stop thinking about.”

Don’t worry, a reporter told her later during the panel discussion, we’ve all been there.

“I think that’s what makes this show so wonderful and why I enjoy it so much,” Vieira said. “Because it is a true combination of the silly and the serious.”

And you are about to get so much more of both.

An hour more to be exact.

“Today” pushes into yet another hour of programming come this fall.

“We are pleased to announce that we’re going to be doing a fourth hour,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. “We will be launching that in September.”

Vieira won’t be part of that hour, however, because of her contract with “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.” Her contract with that show doesn’t allow her to compete against herself. “Millionaire” airs at 10 a.m., which would be the start of the fourth hour.

“We want there to be a partnership with our stations (to provide some local content),” Capus says. “I think you see that mix all throughout the three hours that exists now. And I think that mix is appropriate.”

If this trend of adding new hours continues, Lauer quips, it may come to the point where he’s starting out the morning programs and then handing the mic over to Brian Williams for the network evening news.

1 Comment

  1. Hans Lys said,

    January 18, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Great idea! Let The Today Show just run through the day and just hand it over to Brian in the evening. We don’t mind, we love the Today Show – we run The Today Show viewers forum!

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