Photo Credit: Disney-ABC/Ida Mae Astute
Katie Couric has officially arrived on daytime. The former Today host debuted the first episode of her new chat show, Katie, on Monday afternoon on ABC. The longtime newswoman was a bit more stiff and formal than most other daytime hosts, but Katie is a perfect showcase for what Couric does best: conducting revealing interviews with fascinating people.
Of course, today's focus was less on Couric and more on her first guest. New mom Jessica Simpson stopped by for her first live TV interview since giving birth to daughter Maxwell Drew on May 1 -- and gave fans their first glimpse at her post-baby body.
"I've just had a lot of pressure on me to lose the baby weight, and today was actually one of my goals: getting here, and feeling comfortable in a beautiful dress," admitted Simpson, who said she's lost more than 40 pounds since giving birth.
The 31-year-old star, who is launching a campaign with Weight Watchers, told Couric that she had some misconceptions about how easily she'd get her figure back.
"During pregnancy I didn't really think about it; I thought my doctors were telling me it was just a lot of water, and whenever my water broke, my weight would go down," she quipped. "But that didn't happen! I've had to really stay focused on my diet and really concentrate on what I'm putting in my body, 'cause obviously I want to be as healthy as I can because I'm a mom now."
Showing off a picture of little baby Maxwell in her first bikini, Simpson (who's engaged to Eric Johnson) described motherhood as "absolutely amazing." To maximize time with her daughter, she's taking her along for her daily exercise routine, walking for miles while she talks "crazy baby talk" to keep the little one entertained. At the moment, she's trying to concentrate on her daughter, rather than on what the world thinks of her post-baby weight.
"I definitely don't pick up the magazines. I definitely don't Google my name," she said. "I try to avoid it completely, but I still subconsciously know that the talk is going on. So that's definitely a struggle for me."
"I understand that it sells magazines. I wish I could get a cut," she joked.
Later in the program, Katie invited her friend (and her theme song composer) Sheryl Crow, who talked about her benign brain tumor, her friendship with the late Michael Jackson and her ex Lance Armstrong's recent scandal.
Like Oprah Winfrey, Couric doesn't seem to consider any topic off-limits with her celebrity guests -- which is good news, because most talk-show hosts dodge the awkward topics that audiences are really curious about. We look forward to seeing more of Katie's interview fire-power in action -- especially on Wednesday, when she gets Heidi Klum to open up about her split from Seal and those rumors that she's romancing her bodyguard.