Katie Couric's Guest List Includes Jessica Simpson, Sheryl Crow, '50 Shades of Grey' Author
When Katie Couric returns to TV on Sept. 10, she'll do so with Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow by her side.
With a hefty price tag and sky-high expectations for her daytime effort, Couric is billing her guest list as a cadre of women -- many of them household names -- who are at a transitional point in their lives. Katie's early guests also will include 24-year-old Aimee Copeland, a Georgia graduate student who lost parts of all her limbs to a rare flesh-eating bacteria; 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James; Modern Family's Sofia Vergara; Jennifer Lopez; and singer, actress and activist Barbra Streisand.
In her bid to court daytime's all-important female demo with relatable fare, Couric's premiere episode will feature Simpson discussing such challenges as losing her baby weight, getting past nasty rumors and balancing a young child and a career, while Crow opens up about entering the next phase of her life and career as a 50-year-old single mother. Also on offer in the coming weeks: Wendy Williams, Heidi Klum, Susan Sarandon and Chelsea Handler, among other promotable names.
But rather than make her show another stop on the celebrity promotional circuit, Couric is attempting to push the platform as a place to delve into the more substantial -- at least for now. Along those lines, Crow is expected to address her recent brain tumor diagnosis on the show, while The X Factor's Demi Lovato will come on to discuss her struggles with anorexia and bulimia. The show is expected to tackle one to three topics each day and is being pushed to affiliates a female-friendly option that is, as Couric has said, "smart with heart."
Still, Copeland will join her on the 11th, a reminder that Katie won't be all stars, all the time. Later, Sharon and Lexie Love, whose daughter and sister, Yeardley, was murdered two years ago by her ex-boyfriend at the University of Virginia, will break their silence on an episode that will focus on the epidemic of date violence. On another day, Amanda Knox's boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will drop by to discuss the murder case that made international headlines, life after his ordeal in an Italian prison and his reunion with Knox.
As Couric noted in late July, she also will look to add more star-driven franchises including a "women who should be famous" segment featuring "remarkable women who are doing extraordinary things" and "YOLO: You only live once" pieces about Couric and others checking off items on their respective bucket lists.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose