Sunday, June 16, 2024

TV: Kathie Lee Gifford Surprise Exit from Today Show 3rd Hour After NBC Cuts Megyn Kelly Loose


Just a couple of weeks after NBC had to dismantle the Megyn Kelly part of the Today show, comes another shock. Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the third hour at 10am, with Hoda Kotb, in April 2019.

Kathie Lee says she’s leaving to pursue other projects. But that’s bull. The main obstacle is money. She wanted more, they didn’t want to pay up.

The Hoda-Kathie Lee hour has been a bright spot in the NBC mid morning programming. But Megyn Kelly’s show dragged down its ratings.

Then Hoda moved to the main Today show, which meant NBC had to find a new partner for Kathie Lee. That hasn’t worked out so well. Jenna Bush Hager is one of the worst personalities on TV. And it’s not clear that Kathie Lee would partner well with anyone else at this point.

My guess is that Hoda is off the 10am hour too beginning in April. Today will have to recast that whole hour.

As for Kathie Lee, she currently has a book out with a fake rabbi, a Jew for Jesus. I’m sure NBC isn’t so happy about Gifford’s bible thumping. Long memories will recall that when that issue came up at ABC when Kathie Lee was with Regis the end came pretty fast there, too.

I like Kathie Lee personally. But she may have overplayed her hand. Let’s hope she doesn’t plot another Broadway show. Her last one was a spectacular failure.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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