If anybody can make a new syndicated daytime talkshow work, it’ll be Meredith Vieira.
The veteran journo and TV host ably demonstrated her skills in her Monday luncheon session to tubthump her NBCUniversal-distribbed yakker at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
Vieira thoroughly charmed the crowd as she spoke about her motivation for diving back into the daytime grind, how her show will focus more on everyday people with inspiring stories rather than celebs and plans to mix up her show with music and comedy bits. “The Meredith Vieira Show” bows Sept. 8. In many markets, it will be carried in an afternoon block with NBCU’s “The Steve Harvey Show” and Ellen DeGeneres’ yakker.
Here are 5 tidbits from the chat. Vieira ended the session sitting cross-legged on the stage (in a white suit, no less) while taking questions from the scrum.
** The show’s band will consist of four female musicians led by Everett Bradley, an alum of Broadway and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
** Reflecting Vieira’s love of animals, she plans to bring attention to the work of service dogs. A newly trained dog will be introduced on the show at the top of each week, and given to a person with need for assistance on Friday episodes.
** “The Meredith Vieira Show” will be neighbors with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — she’s in Studio 6A while he’s in 6B at 30 Rock.
** Friday episodes will also feature a “House Party” theme with an emphasis on breaking new talent.
** Vieira wanted to produce the show from her actual living room but her husband objected.