Vieira is stepping into a saturated market, which includes her alma mater, “The View,” where big stars have struggled to find their footing. To wit, her “Today” show predecessor, Katie Couric, met similar early success before debuting her now-cancelled talkshow.
But Vieira tries not to dwell on the odds.
“I’d be stuck if I focused on that because I know, having done daytime, how hard it can be,” she says. “That pressure is out there to perform and I’m aware of it. All you can do is do your best. I’m not trying to be a copy of anything else. I’m just going to be me.”
That includes focusing on brightening people’s days with inspirational stories, upbeat celebrity interviews, games with the live audience, music from a house band and digital shorts. NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution’s one-hour talker is exec produced by Rich Sirop, Vieira’s friend and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” producer.
“The word that I hear most when people say why they like me is ‘authenticity,’” notes Vieira. “And I think that that’s something that people really want. They want to connect to somebody that they relate to.