Katie Couric will return to her former home at NBC’s Today show as co-anchor — for one week only.
The gig will have Couric filling in for current co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, who is on maternity leave. (Guthrie gave birth to her second child, a boy, Dec. 9). The Los Angeles Times was the first to report the news.
Rumor had it that Couric was to fill in the last time Guthrie was on maternity leave in 2014, but the guest stint never came to pass. This time, she’ll be on during the week of Jan. 2, sitting next to Matt Lauer, her former longtime co-host on the show. She anchored Today for 15 years, from 1991 to 2006, before leaving for the CBS Evening News. The Couric-Lauer pairing was among the show’s most successful, making Couric and Lauer household names. Couric has maintained a friendship with Lauer, who will celebrate 20 years on Today next year.
In addition, Meredith Vieira also will return to the show to fill in for Guthrie, Today said Thursday. Vieira succeeded Couric on the show, co-hosting alongside Lauer from 2006–11. Unlike Couric, Vieira did in fact fill in for Guthrie during the latter’s maternity leave in 2014. At the time, Vieira was launching her own talk show on NBCUniversal stations.
Today has been closing the viewer gap with ABC’s Good Morning America, which famously snapped Today‘s 852-week winning streak back in 2012. But anchor defections at GMA since then have sapped the show’s momentum. For the season, Today is less than 100,000 viewers behind GMA and is No. 1 among the critical 25-54 demographic.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 22, 2016
5:22 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22: Updated with news of Vieira’s return.