Katie Couric's return to morning television after her brutal stint on CBS Evening News is supposed to be a good thing, like releasing penguins back into the ocean--but her upcoming stint on Good Morning America won't do any favors for Today, her former show. As TVNewser reports, Couric will be taking over next week for Robin Roberts who has the week off, which isn't actually that big a deal since people take off and guest-host all the time with little notice.
But The Times notes that Couric's appearance "comes at a time when No. 2 Good Morning America is unusually close to No. 1 Today in the morning ratings." TVNewser reported for the week of March 15, "the gap between GMA and Today was 260,000 Total Viewers and 290,000 A24-54 viewers — the smallest demographic gap since July 2008", and Today's falling numbers have been the talk of tabloids too--which happens when you're number one for some 500-plus weeks, according to Newsday's Verne Gay.
So, will Couric's return to morning television spell the end of Today's ratings reign, sending Matt Lauer into a tailspin and Anne Curry back to overseas reporting? Will it give Good Morning America the top morning show spot that it's been denied for years? Maybe. And what if Couric's stint is a bust? Newsday's Gay writes, "[I]f GMA's ratings sink next week, then we'll never hear about this again... ABC and Katie will make certain of that."