Although it had long been rumored, Disney/ABC Domestic Television made it official today that it has canceled “Katie,” the daytime talker hosted by Katie Couric. “While production will continue on ‘Katie’ through June 2014, we’ve mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show,” the company and Couric’s team said in a joint statement. “We’re very proud of everyone’s contributions to making ‘Katie’ the #1 new syndicated talk show of 2012-2013, and we look forward to the rest of the season.”
In June 2011, Disney/ABC announced a two-year deal with Couric that would consist of the daytime talk show and on air reports for ABC News, which she recently parted ways with just before word that she had signed a deal with Yahoo! to develop new programming for the internet giant. In announcing the partnership with Couric at the time, Anne Sweeney, president, Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, said, “Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her. We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.” Buried within the announcement was word that Disney/ABC would cede ABC’s 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT daytime slot to affiliates beginning in September 2012 in the hopes that most, if not all, ABC affiliates would pick up “Katie” for syndication. “As part of the announcement, the network is set to return the last hour of its Daytime network block to affiliates no earlier than September 2012, but continues to support ‘General Hospital,’ and the plans to launch ‘The Chew’ in September of this year and ‘The Revolution’ in January 2012,” read the press release at the time, which many felt put “GH” in danger of not reaching its 50th year on television. At launch “Katie” was executive produced by with Couric’s former “Today” EP and current CNN chief Jeff Zucker. Shortly after the talk show was announced, he said of Couric, “I think Katie is a unique brand in television.” He added, “The mere fact that you can just say Katie and know who we are talking about is evidence of that.”
In a report by TV Guide‘s Michael Logan back in March 2012, sources informed him that Couric made clear to Disney/ABC of her desire to see “GH” as her leadin on the ABC affiliated stations. “Couric and Zucker want to see ‘GH’ get that slot because it’s a stronger show, Nielsen-wise, plus Couric does not want to face the wrath of ‘GH’ fans and risk the chance they’ll organize a boycott. Who the hell needs that? So she and Zucker want ‘The Revolution’ to go bye-bye,” which the low rated health and fitness talk show did. Since then, “GH” was moved to the aforementioned new timeslot and has gone on to hit six year highs in total viewers in the last 3 weeks alone, best in 2+ years in key sales demos and is pacing for its best season performance since the 2006/2007 television season in total audience. Couric appeared on an episode of “GH” earlier this year in celebration of the soap operas 50th anniversary. In addition, she hosted an adequately rated special on the soap opera that aired in primetime on Saturday, April 6.
There’s no word on what will replace “Katie,” if anything, at this time.