ABC went dancing with its star today, and she didn’t miss a step.
Katie Couric’s guest-hosting stint on ‘Good Morning America’ came off with nary a hiccup. Despite a six-year absence from the a.m. game, she seamlessly picked up where she left off at “Today,” displaying the goofy humor and warmth that made her a star.
She laughed. She danced. She cracked wise. What’s not to love?
Did we say love? Like a shark at a shipwreck, “GMA” is moving in for the kill against “Today.” With only 137,000 viewers separating them, according to the latest Nielsen ratings, “GMA” is counting on a week of Couric to end her alma mater’s 16-year dominance.
In response to ABC’s massive promotion, “Today” announced last week that Monday’s show would feature a “legend.” (I’m a big Meredith Vieria fan, but she hardly fits the category.) Sarah Palin guest hosts tomorrow; irony abounds. It was Couric, then with CBS, who derailed Palin in ’08 by asking the vice-presidential candidate what newspapers she read.
ABC made sure Couric’s visit was treated by her colleagues like a coronation. Her co-hosts were positively giddy, and every correspondent welcomed her. At 7:21 a.m., she told an adoring George Stephanopoulos that she was “starting to relax.”
Couric did several taped bits about her return to morning TV, beginning with one in which she ran around her apartment in her jammies and drank endless cups of coffee to stay awake for her debut. In another, her driver mistakenly took her to NBC before heading to ABC’s Times Square studio.
The most blatant, self-serving skit revolved around Couric’s love fest with ABC’s hit “DWTS,” now in Week 3. She camped around backstage with host Tom Bergeron. She lusted for mucho-macho