For weeks, there have been rumors that ABC is considering canceling one or both of its long running soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Now Variety is reporting that the network may want “CBS Evening News” Anchor Katie Couric to host a daytime talk show. Couric’s contract with CBS expires in June. Numerous networks and studios are vying to develop a show for her. While there has been industry speculation that Couric wants to host a syndicated talk show, given Couric’s extraordinary success as the anchor of “The Today Show” it’s easy to understand why she might want to return to network daytime.
Watch Katie Talk Future Plans On “The View”:
Unlike the other projects ABC daytime is rumored to be developing — a cooking show and a reality series focused on weight loss — Couric’s show could be more than a cheap way to fill an hour of airtime. Couric has a huge fan base and serious journalism credentials. It’s easy to see why ABC would consider a talk show hosted by her to be a good companion to “The View.” Ironically, Variety cites ABC’s high daytime ratings on its owned and operated stations as a reason why Couric might want to join the network. This begs the question: if the current line-up of daytime soaps is beating the competition, why does ABC want to change it? A show with Couric — who currently earns $15 million a year — might not be all that much cheaper to produce than a soap opera.
As frightening as this viable threat to “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” is, it’s far from a done deal. As Variety points out, Couric could potentially make far more money in syndication. The end of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” leaves a huge void in the syndication landscape that Couric could potentially fill. Couric also might want to return to NBC, or perhaps move to cable. The ball is in her court. Soap fans can only hope that the journalist dubbed America’s sweetheart won’t kill one of America’s longest running television shows.