‘Katie’ Has Been Canceled
Unsurprising as it is, Katie Couric and Disney-ABC has officially announced that Katie’s second season will be its last. In the statement, the two insist that the decision to cancel the show was “mutual.” Though she won’t be on television anymore, Couric still has her job at Yahoo! as a “global news anchor.”
Though she’s known as the “perky one” from Today, Couric has always had serious news chops and was never quite the right fit for the typical daytime talk show format. It was widely reported that Couric insisted on covering topics more “news-y” than those typically covered by other talk shows like Ellen or The View. As The New York Times’ Bill Carter phrased it, “Ms. Couric also made it clear that she preferred covering topics that were not necessarily ideal for building ratings for a syndicated talk show.”
While Katie’s ratings were strong, they weren’t as big as expected and local station owners had complained that the show was not living up to the hype. Additionally, rumors of behind the scenes turmoil haunted the show. More than a few of its producers have left, amidst reports that senior staff disagreed about the types of topics the show should be covering. In June, the New York Post reported that the internal turmoil had become almost unbearable.
“Behind the scenes, sources say the show has weathered drama since the departure of executive producer Jeff Zucker, creating a ‘very stressful’ situation with ‘staffing weirdness’ and ‘no one making decisions.’
Staffers say the move made the talk show into a ‘s–t show’ behind the scenes. ‘Jeff’s departure left a void,’ said a source. ‘Then they had four co-executive producers and the staffing decisions being made were poor. Katie was left vulnerable.’
Another insider added, ‘There wasn’t a figure who could keep control. It became challenging because of the way that Jeff left. There’s been creative tension.’”
Though it was initially rumored that Couric would leave her show and follow Zuker, with whom she created Katie, to CNN, last month Couric took a position at Yahoo!, where she is reportedly being paid $6 million a year. What exactly she’ll be doing there for all that money … no one knows.
Production on Katie will continue through June and it will air until Sept. 2014.