The Today Show history in New York City. This morning TV show features news, weather, History, sports, lifestyle segments and interviews.
The Today Show Morning TV Show is a Long-Running Entertainment Show
With over 50 years on the air, The Today Show is one of America's longest-running and best loved TV shows. The lively three hour program broadcasts daily 7AM to 10AM from NBC's Studio 1A in New York City's iconic Rockefeller Plaza. The Today Show began on the NBC network on January 14, 1952, with radio announcer and TV personality Dave Garroway as host. Conceived by NBC's then Vice President Pat Weaver, The Today Show was the first show of its kind, bringing viewers two hours of news and human interest pieces every weekday morning. Garroway's laid back style and wide-ranging curiosity set the tone for The Today Show, which to this day continues to both entertain and inform its audience in an upbeat and relaxed setting.
In 1964, The Today Show began a two-anchor format with now-legendary news reporters Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters as co-hosts. In the late '70s, Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley helmed the show for a five year period, and in 1982 Pauley was joined by Bryant Gumbel. Gumbel went on to be one of The Today Show's longest-running hosts, along with Katie Couric, who also put in 15 years. The two hosted together for several years before Gumbel left and Couric was joined by Matt Lauer. Katie Couric and Matt Lauer were early morning TV's golden couple for nearly 10 years before Katie moved up the ladder to the evening news, and The View's Meredith Vieira stepped in.
But the anchors are not The Today Show's only on-air assets. Weather forecaster Willard Scott was also an audience favorite during his many years on Today, and renowned for his special segments recognizing people celebrating a 100th birthday, which he continued doing even after giving up his duties as weatherman. Meteorologist Al Roker took over when Scott retired his weather post and has become equally popular.
Al Roker loses over 100 pounds in weight
While the affable Roker was once identified as being considerably overweight, in 2002 he quietly underwent gastric bypass surgery and subsequently lost about 100 pounds. This caused lots of speculation and rumors, until Roker finally spoke out about the surgery, cautioning people to only consider it in extreme cases. "I really thought nobody would care and I would lose the weight and call it a day," he wrote on his personal website. "I was wrong. I hope by going public, it helps people." Roker never apologized for deceiving the public and he remains stoic to this day in his opinion that if he chooses to lose over 100 pounds and if people can see him visibly wasting away on national television, then that is still his own private affair.
Katie Couric's Emotional Departure
Over the years, The Today Show has become such an established TV institution that it not only delivers news, it often makes the news. Bryant Gumbel was frequently parodied on sketch comedy shows like In Living Color and Saturday Night Live. And the departure of Katie Couric from the show in 2006 made headlines, and became a prolonged and tearful event that provided plenty of comic fodder for the late-night shows.
Other notable Today Show contributors, past and present, include Ann Curry, Campbell Brown, Natalie Morales, Jamie Gangel, Joe Caragiola, financial advisor Suze Orman, naturalist Jim Fowler, political analyst Tim Russert, reviewer Gene Shalit, and entertainment correspondent Jill Rappaport. Many of these Today Show team members were on hand to give Katie Couric a fitting sendoff on her final show on Wednesday May 31st 2006.
TV Studio Changes
In 1994, The Today Show was moved from the "windowless coffin of a studio" (as it was known and hated by staffers and fans alike) in Studio 4 at 30 Rockefeller Plaza into a stunning new site, NBC News’ Studio 1A. This glass-walled, ground-floor production facility, located at the corner of 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza, is a hot spot for both tourists and New York locals trying to get their faces on live television or who just want to get a glimpse of their favorite morning show in action.
Another major change for The Today Show came in 2000, when it went from the standard two-hour format to a full three hour broadcast. This difference further distinguishes Today from its morning show counterparts like Good Morning America and The Early Show.
And while NBC's The Today Show has its home base in New York, the show also frequently travels the world, with programs such as "Where in the World is Matt Lauer" and special broadcasts from places like Greece and Italy for the Olympic Games. Today has always prided itself on bringing the news of the nation and the world to its home audience, and will surely continue to do so far into the future.
Couric went on to host the news, have her own show and then work on various other pet projects.
Bare Breasts On The Today Show
The Today Show has also had its fair share of fame seekers. One unique stunt transpired at the studio on Wednesday, August 2, 2000 -- long before Janet Jackson and her wardrobe malfunction. Suzi Greenberg, an avid fan of the Opie and Anthony "shock jock" radio show, went bare-chested during one of the customary live crowd pans outside the studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Suzi Greenberg, standing in the Today Show audience, in the plaza at 30 Rock, opened her jacket to expose here bare breasts as the camera made its way along the crowd. Underneath her breasts was a large Opie and Anthony WOW (Whip 'em Out Wednesday) bumper sticker that earned her a reported $1000 from the outrageous radio show.
In reaction to the on-screen nudity that was broadcast during family viewing, you will see one of the most candid moments in the history of NBC's Today Show. Katie Couric, while attending the rather staid 2000 Republican National Convention Philadelphia, silently mouths a shocked "Did you see that ?" and clasped her hands to her face in shocked disbelief as the mischief unfolded. All the local anchor crew of Matt Lauer and Ann Curry could do as a response was stammer through a "Uh, ooh, ah, ah, okay" while Katie bit her bottom lip and grimaced.
The FCC chose not to fine The Today Show for this transgression, although NBC did introduce a TV transmission delay function to dissuade any other would-be exhibitionists.
Suzi Greenberg's infamy was short lived, but she did do a follow-up piece on The Today Show for Extra in which she discussed her payment and her 15 minutes of fame. The shock jocks Opie and Anthony were later fired for another, unrelated FCC sexual transgression which happened, ironically, at St. Patrick's Cathedral, barely 500 feet from The Today Show studio and the bare breasted incident.
Today Show Audience
The Today Show doesn't have a traditional Seated studio audience, but if you want to get up close and personal, get seen on TV, and maybe even talk to the stars during a broadcast, we have tips and info on how to best do this in our TV Show Tickets Guide or you can read the Today Show Tickets Page.