Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric

Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric.

Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric.

TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked.

ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric (“Today”), had the added glitz of Manhattan at night.

Using Rockefeller Center (NBC’s New York HQ) — with Prometheus and his fountains glowing huge in the background — as show’s opening set created a lively, interesting tone, and also cleverly, if not subtly, triggered memories of past NBC hits “Late Night With David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live.”

The attempt at urgency started with a trailer counting down the minutes to show time (“Two minutes from ‘Now’ “). The momentum of a live show is hard to sustain when the segments are taped, but the pieces were timed well to coincide with breaking news, allowing, for at least one of the segments, same-day updates. (The show reportedly will ease into using live interviews once the kinks are worked out.)

The segments themselves were a mixed bag, with the usual mixed results.The first, a wrenching look at Baby Jessie’s last days with her adoptive family, the DeBoers, was for masochists; the second was an interesting re-examination of the siege at the Idaho home of white separatist Randy Weaver; and the last, an interview with Bette Midler, while fun, was unrevealing.

Brokaw and Couric have good chemistry, with their banter relaxed, not forced. Doing double duty as reporters, Couric proved able, if light, in the Jessie and Midler segs, and Brokaw, while not especially aggressive, was his usual competent, mildly sardonic self.

If Couric, who’s up before dawn for “Today,” doesn’t pass out from exhaustion , and viewers aren’t bored with the genre, “Now” may prove to be smart counterprogramming against ABC’s “Home Improvement.”

Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric

(Wed. (18), 9-10 p.m., NBC)

Production: An NBC News production. Exec producer, Jeff Zucker; producers, Polly Powell ("Bette Midler"), Martha Caskey ("Idaho Siege"), Martha Spanninger ("Baby Jessie"); associate producers, Jason Raffe ("Midler"), Elise Waldo Major, Amy Rosenberg ("Idaho"), Lori Beecher ("Jessie").

Crew: Camera, Houston Hall, Nelson Tharp , Jim White ("Midler"), Maurice Roper, Sam Sewell, Paul Thiriot, Jim White ("Idaho"), Robert Branton, Joe Cantu, Jack Rayzor, Jeff Weinstock ("Jessie"); editors, Peter Chhun ("Midler,""Idaho"), James Herring Jr. ("Jessie"); sound, Chuck Russell, Vern Thompson ("Midler"), Phil Burchell, Mario Decarlo, Mark Edelstein, Steve Holmes ("Idaho"), Rodney Bell, Dana Marxen, John O'Connor, Bill Williams ("Jessie").

More TV

  • BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- "White Whale" Episode

    Hitchcock and Scully Episode of ’Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Announced at Comic-Con

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • Amy Powell

    Ousted Paramount TV Chief Amy Powell Denies Making Racially Insensitive Comments

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • 'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators

    'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators and Stars Talk Crossover Potential

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • Bristol Palin Teen Mom OG

    Bristol Palin to Join 'Teen Mom OG' Cast

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • Jeanine Pirro You the Jury

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeanine Pirro Have Spat During 'View' Appearance

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale

    ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series Exit

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

  • Syfy Debuts 'Nightflyers' Trailer at Comic-Con

    Watch Interstellar Madness Unfold in New Trailer for Syfy's 'Nightflyers'

    Hosts: Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric. TV may not now or ever need “Now,” the latest newsmag to hit the glutted genre, but its premiere was encouraging enough to justify its inclusion on NBC’s fall sked. ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” got there first, but “Now’s” live anchor segments, with Tom Brokaw (“NBC Nightly News”) and Katie Couric […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content