5:44am PT by Hilary Lewis
Carson Daly Joining NBC's 'Today'
Carson Daly is joining NBC's Today show, it was announced on Thursday morning, hosting the show's brand-new Orange Room, part of the revamped set scheduled to be revealed on Monday.
The Orange Room, described as a "first-of-its-kind digital studio," will give viewers unprecedented access to the show and allow audience members to weigh in and influence show segments, bridging the show's TV and digital platforms. The space will also be the site of social media hangouts, extended live-stream interviews with guests, the show's digital franchises and analysis of real-time social data and reactions from the Web.
Daly got his big break as host of MTV's TRL and currently hosts NBC's hit The Voice as well as its super-late-night show Last Call, which airs at 1:36 a.m. He's also filled in on Today as a substitute co-host.
Although NBC renewed Last Call, Daly may not be continuing as the show's host, according to Today's press release about his new morning gig. Daly will continue as executive producer of Last Call and "plans for a transition will be announced at a later date," NBC stated in Thursday's release.
“When I got the call about being permanently on Today and launching the Orange Room, it was like a dream come true,” Daly tells Today.com. “You know that scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where Charlie peels back the wrapper and finds the golden ticket? I felt like I got the golden ticket.”
Daly adds: “Everything I’ve done in my career up until this point has trained me for Today -- the interviews, the live TV, the live radio -- it all gets paid off,” Carson said. “I was playing in the minor leagues and now I’ve just been called up to the big leagues. It’s amazing that I get to be a small part of the new era and generation of Today -- not just to be here, but to be here to help build the future of Today and serve as the bridge between viewers and the show.”
NBC also has a first-look development deal with Daly for scripted and alternative programs.
The new Studio 1A, which was redesigned for the first time in seven years this summer, features an open floor plan designed to provide better integration between the show's hosts, guests and audience. The new set will also have an interactive weather monitor and state-of-the-art video display.
Today executive producer Don Nash said in a statement, "'The Orange Room' is where the newsroom meets the living room. In this space, we will evolve the way news is gathered and delivered by creating a direct and meaningful relationship with our Today audience on any platform. Carson is the perfect fit for this exciting new role. He’s passionate about being on the forefront of new media, and has distinguished himself as a socially savvy broadcaster with a unique ability to engage audiences.”