Katie Couric Inks Talk-Show Deal with ABC

The former CBS Evening News anchor will host her own syndicated daytime talk show starting in September 2012

Wondering who's going to fill that Oprah-shaped hole in your heart? Here comes Katie Couric! The former Today cohost and CBS Evening News anchor is moving to ABC, where she'll host and produce her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show starting in September 2012, ABC Television announced today. On top of that, Couric, 54, will be joining the ABC News team.

"I'm very happy to be returning to the network where I began my career as a desk assistant in 1979," the newswoman -- who vacated the CBS Evening News anchor chair last Month -- said in a statement. "It is tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show... and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division."

So what will The Katie Couric Show look like? Well, first off, it doesn't have a title yet, so it may not be The Katie Couric Show at all. And, since Couric has ownership and creative control of the new show, it's a pretty safe bet that she'll be the host. However, that still leaves the possibility of a cohost -- or cohosts -- wide open. Katie could go the route that Barbara Walters chose with The View, hand-picking a team of TV personalities to join her. Or she could share the bill with a qualified colleague, somebody like Matt Lauer -- whose Today contract actually expires just a few months after Couric's show is set to go on the air. (Coincidence?) Sources at The Hollywood Reporter say that Today wants to hold onto Lauer, but since he and Couric have talked about collaborating on a show, we think it's still on the table. One fellow anchor who won't be a candidate to cohost is CNN's Anderson Cooper, who's entering the daytime fray with his own talk show, Anderson.

Couric is set to move into General Hospital's time slot in September 2012 (though ABC says that it will continue to air the beloved soap). That leaves plenty of time for the details of the new show to come together. Upon leaving CBS, Couric told the New York Times that she's interested in a project that "allows me to be my authentic self," while "tackling complicated subjects and making them accessible." It sounds like she'll be using her hard-news pedigree to rise above the daytime competition -- and her sunny personality to stay there. Couric's feet may just fit in Oprah's heels after all.

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