Despite a reported $100 million, two-year investment of resources into Katie Couric’s self-titled daytime chatfest, it’s seeming increasingly likely “Katie” may not be renewed for a third season. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, and according to my own BZ sources, Disney and ABC may soon make it official — with “Katie” ending after the contract for the syndicated weekday talk show runs out next summer.
After huge hype and initially good ratings, viewership has slipped and the show has also been plagued by reports of backstage squabbling over program direction — punctuated by the exiting of top producers over the past two years. Executives at a number of top ABC stations are not happy with how “Katie” has performed and complain about it hurting the lead-in to their early evening news programming blocks.
While there have been stories about Couric not connecting with what should be her core audience (women 25 to 54), a longtime associate of the veteran TV journalist strongly disagrees. “Katie totally gets the fact that there has to be a lot of fluff on afternoon television, but she also wants to include discussions of serious issues as well. … She has a thing about not talking down to women, and is infuriated when people try to do that.”