Remaining 'Katie' Shows Shift to Live Format
Katie Couric's syndicated talk show is shifting to a mostly live format.
The shift was apparently already being planned prior to the announcement Thursday that Katie, led by the former CBS and NBC anchor, would not return for a third season in syndication. The change, which will impact the final six months that the daily Katie show is in production, has been made largely as a way to keep the show on budget.
Several sources tell THR that many of Couric's tapings ran longer than the allotted time because the host wanted to keep going to get as much good content as possible. In some cases, shows were running twice the scheduled time.
A source close to the show insists Couric's decision to run longer was made jointly with Rachel Miskowiec, who was brought in last May as executive producer for the show's second season. The result was that producers and editors often racked up overtime to cut the content to fit the one-hour format, triggering significant budget overruns. Katie was already one of the more expensive daily talk shows ever produced, in part because it had more field producers and news staff than most.
A representative for Disney/ABC confirms that from January though June, when production ends, the content of Katie will mostly be produced live on four out of five days. In order to keep the production schedule to four days a week, the fifth show will be taped but is expected to be limited to the one-hour time allotted (less commercial time).
The source close to the show says that Couric agreed to the switch because it streamlines the process and helps maximize the show's available resources.
The decision to end the show after its initial two-year contract runs out was, according to the announcement, by mutual agreement between Couric and Disney/ABC, which produces and distributes the show.
Couric starts a new job in 2014 as global anchor for Yahoo!