News Column

Vieira Makes Her Return to Daytime, Ready to Chat

July 15, 2014

By Gary Levin, @GaryMLevin, USA TODAY

Meredith Vieira is getting back into the daytime talk show business with a new show in the fall. (file photo)
Meredith Vieira is getting back into the daytime talk show business with a new show in the fall. (file photo)

Meredith Vieira is wading back into the treacherous waters of daytime TV.

Vieira, 60, will host The Meredith Vieira Show, a syndicated talk show distributed this fall by NBC.

She's no stranger to daytime: She spent nine years on ABC's The View, starting with its launch in 1997, did five more on NBC's Today and hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for 11 years.

Still, fronting her own show is "really scary," she told TV critics Monday. "I didn't even want (the show) to be my name. The executives said, 'What else would you call it?' And we couldn't come up with anything else."

Vieirawill follow a typical daytime format: chats with real people on topical issues and occasional celebrity guests. She won't dance like Ellen ("I can't dance anyway"), but she will bring a band, a comfy chair from her house and a dog -- though not her own, who "almost bit a photographer's testicles off the other day; we didn't want a lawsuit," she says. Instead, a rescue dog of the week will be offered, and the show will profile the family that adopts it.

And even though former Today hosts Jane Pauley and Katie Couric didn't work out in daytime, Vieira says success is all about authenticity.

"The audience can smell a fake a mile away. What struck me was how significant daytime television is to the viewer. They connect to it in such a personal way. If you're able to speak to your audience and give them a voice, they'll watch."


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Source: Copyright 2014 USA TODAY


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