8:20am PT by Kate Stanhope, Marisa Guthrie
'Meredith Vieira Show' Ending After Two Seasons
The Meredith Vieira Show is coming to an end.
The NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution show will wrap production after its current second season, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
"I am so sorry to see our show come to an end after this season, but I am also incredibly proud of the work our staff has done and forever grateful to our supportive viewers," Vieira said in a statement. "We promise to spend our final weeks producing the best broadcast we know how. And have a blast doing so!"
The news is not surprising. The daytime show was originally commissioned for two seasons. And while it bowed to solid ratings in September 2014, the program quickly shed viewers in a notoriously difficult daytime daypart. The second season premiered to a lackluster 0.8 household rating.
And by the beginning of this season, a creative overhaul was imposed, adding a variety of panelists such as singer Lance Bass. But the show has since been limping along with a 0.9 rating. Aggravating matters was the cost of the program, which started out with a house band and was filmed at NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters and topped out at $35 million during its first season.
It's far cheaper for local stations to mount their own newscasts than pay high premiums for daytime shows. And after Vieira's show concludes in May, NBC-owned stations in New York (WNBC), Los Angeles (KNBC), South Florida (WTVJ) and Connecticut (WVIT) will launch 4 p.m. newscasts, shifting current 4 p.m. occupant Ellen DeGeneres to 3 p.m. and sliding Steve Harvey to 2 p.m., where Vieira's show currently airs.
Vieira, who also served as an executive producer, is the latest household name to struggle in the format, following canceled daytime series hosted by her Today predecessor Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and Queen Latifah, among others. This fall, NBCUDTD will launch another celebrity-fronted daytime show, this time from outgoing American Idol judge Harry Connick Jr.
Vieira was no stranger to daytime. She was among the original co-hosts of ABC's The View and also hosted the daytime version of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. And as her own show was launching, she conceded that she was going into the capricious daypart with her eyes open. Vieira is still under contract at NBC, where she has, among other things, anchored the network's Olympics coverage.
"It's hard, it's competitive," she told THR in 2014. "I don't know who's even watching at 2 o'clock [when her show aired across much of the country]."