60 more minutes for NBC's 'Today'


NBC is set to announce this week that it will add a fourth hour to "Today."

Sources said the announcement is being readied for unveiling at Wednesday's Television Critics Assn. session at the winter press tour in Pasadena. It's also ahead of any new programming that might be unveiled this month at NATPE's 2007 Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.

Details about the fourth hour of "Today" have yet to be decided, and there won't be any announcements on talent Wednesday. But NBC is telling its affiliates that it hopes they will take the show.

The third hour already does well in its time period against the syndicated "Regis & Kelly," as well as other fare. It's hosted by Ann Curry, Al Roker and Natalie Morales along with other NBC talent. A fourth hour would probably include them along with "Access Hollywood" co-host Billy Bush and Maria Menounos.

But it also could be a tough sell for some stations, who would lose an hour of time for local advertising in the middle of the day.

The "Today" announcement comes as the network takes a victory lap for 55 years of the morning show, which started with host Dave Garroway and has featured some of TV's biggest stars though the years including Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley and Katie Couric. It's also celebrating 11 years on top in the morning news, having withstood a challenge in spring 2005 from ABC's "Good Morning America."