Katie Couric, fresh off of her five-year stint at CBS, is joining the ABC family to produce and host a syndicated daytime talk show. But the real drama surrounds the fate of ABC’s General Hospital.
The Couric news came from an email sent to the staff of ABC News by the division’s president, Ben Sherwood.
Though her show won’t debut until the fall of 2012, Sherwood’s email said she’d join ABC News this summer, “bringing her many talents to some of the most important and interesting stories of the day.”
Though she’s most known for her 15 years on NBC’s Today and the last five years spent as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, Couric’s start in journalism came in 1979 as an ABC News desk assistant in Washington, Sherwood said.
The remaining question, at least right now, is about the fate of ABC’s General Hospital, which currently airs at 3:00pm eastern time. The network has already announced the cancellation of One Life to Life and All My Children. It has also announced the two shows that will replace them, The Chew and The Revolution.
ABC is said to still be supporting the show. But that’s where it gets interesting.
Couric’s show will go into the 3:00pm time slot. The network is reportedly set to return the last hour of its daytime schedule to its affiliates in the fall of 2012. That hour is the 3:00pm hour.
Do the math: if ABC keeps General Hospital, its two new shows and Couric, but goes down at 3:00pm (or airs Couric’s show in that hour as an option for affiliates), that means there are four hour-long shows with only three hour-long slots for them.
Something’s got to give, and unless at least one of the new shows fail before Couric’s show begins, one wonders how General Hospital’s fate could be promising.