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It’s big day in television, folks. First we had Tucker Carlson’s debut on Dancing with the Stars last night, and this morning also marks Meredith Vieira’s first day on the Today show.

We don’t know who starts their first day at a job on a Wednesday, but, whatever. Matt Lauer already has frosting on his face and (thanks to Brian at TV Newser whose job it is to not miss the first five minutes of this blessed event) that brief moment in history has been captured.

In addition to Meredith, the crew is chilling in a new studio (which kind of looks like it has a real low ceiling) and talking to Hilary Swank. Meredith isn’t there for the celeb interview … we guess she didn’t want to throw up on her first day. We promise to keep you posted if anything interesting happens.

Meredith Debuts: Her First Five Minutes [TV Newser]

Sep 13, 2006 · Link · Respond

Ah, Rosie O’Donnell’s blog. We try to avoid it like the plague, but every now and then, Ro drops some deets. And since it’s all leading up to her taking Meredith Vieira’s place on The View (which was prompted by Meredith taking over for Katie Couric which was prompted by Katie Couric’s move to CBS which is the biggest deal ever. Next to Radar’s Sept. 5 launch) sometimes she spills some gossip.

But since she writes in this crazy faux Hiku prose and writes 2 instead of two or to and no instead of know, we never what the hell she’s talking about.

can we not/paint numbers/on runways/huge ones

i met with standards and practices 2 day/they told me all the stuff i know/still made me panic/a little

i only cursed once/in 6 years of live tv/i said/all this useless shit stuck in my head/to lucie arnaz/i believe/oops

Lucky for us, TMZ translates this garble. Rosie is taking Meredith Vieira’s dressing room and ABC is prepping her for what she can and cannot say on television.

And she can’t say “shit” or “Star Jones.”

Rosie Drops Some Pre-”View” Details [TMZ]
One More Week []

Aug 30, 2006 · Link · 49 Responses

Ouch. Looks like Meredith Vieira isn’t following in the sweet and perky steps of Katie Couric. After nine years wedged next to Star Jones and Joy Behar, we guess she couldn’t help but turn out a bit of a catty biyotch.

Which Vieira proves by majorly dissing her former digs in the press.

Vieira, who was The View moderator for nine years, said she was proud of her work at the popular daytime talk show and feels it has taken a turn for the worse.

”It’s hard to watch. It sort of became a joke,” she told the magazine.

Though she turned down a job on CBS’s Early Show in 2002, Vieira said, she couldn’t turn her back on the opportunity to co-host the Today show.

And Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was such a serious endeavour.

10 Questions for Meredith Vieira [Time]
Vieira No Longer Views ‘The View’ [New York Times, AP]

Aug 28, 2006 · Link · Respond

Poor Elizabeth Vargas. No matter what happens, she will always be the ABC anchor who got pregnant and blew her chance at having her name attached to the World News on ABC. Even conversations of what it’s like to be a chick on TV uses Vargas as a warning: get pregs and you might get the evening news boot.

Walters, the workplace warrior who had to be better than any man. Diane Sawyer, fierce but sexy, choosing career over children. Couric, the good girl, the single working mom. Vargas ??? did she lose the anchor chair because she was pregnant, or was pregnancy a graceful exit in the face of lousy ratings?

And then there???s Vieira. The rebel. The one who very publicly told Don Hewitt what he could do with his grueling ???60 Minutes??? job 15 years ago, because she was going back home to her kids.

Isn’t life so much easier when you can slap convenient labels on people? The only thing is, well, we thought Vargas’ label was “cold-hearted bitch.” We now realize it was “pregnant cold-hearted bitch.”

Her Morning Shift [Lisa Belken, New York Times]

Aug 14, 2006 · Link · Respond

Meredith Vieira’s new gig at the Today show doesn’t just require that she wake up at an hour Bijou Phillips only begins considering whether she’s going out, it also beckons endless press opportunities. Among them: the cover of Traditional Home magazine. And what could’ve been a forgettable fluff piece about how Vieira is spending her fatter paycheck on redecorating will instead be known as “that crap ass Photoshop job with Meredith’s dog Jasper that likely exists, but not at the time of the photoshoot.”

Meredith Vieira Poses Next to Photoshopped Dog [The Slug]

Jul 18, 2006 · Link · Respond

• Congrats to Westchester, for becoming the gay friendliest county in New York. [NYP]

• We all knew the day would come when Meredith Vieira would leave The View. Now if only Star Jones would leave, we might start watching that show. [AP]

Shock and Yon continue the battle of the copyright photo. Yon said it was over, but he just keeps on keepin’ on. We bet someone at People is encouraging him. [Ad Age]

• Who better to pen an article on hype writers than Nick Sylvester? And props to the Boston Phoenix for having no qualms about scooping the VV’s leftovers. [Gawker]

Paris Hilton proves that it’s easier to hit things with her car when she’s looking at herself instead of other vehicles in the rearview mirror. [TMZ]

Jun 9, 2006 · Link · Respond

After Katie Couric’s hullabaloo of a goodbye the other day, we were sorting wondering how The View was going to compete when it came to saying goodbye to their head mistress?

Well, it won’t be all hugs and slow-mo kisses when the new Today host leaves her round table that’s for sure. Even though people who actually watch this shit show will have to suffer through shots of her family and hugs from Elizabeth Hasselbeck, they plan on getting their last chance jabs in.

“‘The View is an irreverent show, and we won’t be changing that for Meredith’s final day. No warm and fuzzy sendoff [until the final moments, anyway]. We plan to roast her like a Cornish hen,” said executive producer Bill Geddie.

Damn it! Why does Star Jones have to be all “rex” now? This would have been the perfect “and then Star will eat her” joke.

Big sendoff for Vieira in view, too [Richard Huff, Daily News]

Jun 2, 2006 · Link · Respond

Today was our first Today without Katie Couric, and admittedly, something feels … different. There’s just a little less pep (we didn’t say perky!) in the room without her.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a good amount of humor. Before her wardrobe could be cleared out, and the name taken off her dressing room, NBC aired a commercial for “the new Today” with Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry is already making salads with chubby guys.

We don’t know what we expected — honestly, we half expected Katie to pop out of the audience, and go “just kidding!” But, she didn’t. And Matt Lauer seems almost as lost as we are. But we guess we should just be glad the music and the sob fest and the champagne breakfasts are over, and we can go back to women whose families died in plane crashes.

Photo courtesy of Fishbowl New York

Jun 1, 2006 · Link · Respond

• When we saw there was a dating service called Millionaire Match we were really excited. Then we found out guys like Charlie Sheen peruse it, and … well, the excitement subdued. [Gatecrasher]

Sarah Jessica Parker’s 19th-century farmhouse is featured on an eight-page spread. Because it’s not big or fancy … just simple plain Carrie Bradshaw style. [Page Six]

Meredith Vieira admits that she’s really not cut out to be a journalist. Yeah, Mer, we know — that’s why you’re going to Today and Katie Couric is going to CBS.

• Kabbalah is so over. For Britney Spears, the new religion is worshipping your baby. Well, at least it’s still in the Jewish realm of things. [Britney Spears via PITNB]

• Despite his affection for his birthday suit, Tommy Lee has decided to be the first straight white musician to start a fashion line. [Page Six]

May 15, 2006 · Link · Respond

Forget Connie Chung, Patricia Heaton, and Soledad O’Brien. While all were hoping to replace Today-bound Meredith Vieira on The View, none of ‘em got it. The empty seat will be filled by ex-talk show host, blogger, and cruise line operator Rosie O’Donnell, reports TMZ. Not sure what demograhpic they’re reaching out to with Rosie’s placement, but you can be sure our gay cousin will be watching. A formal announcement is expected tomorrow.

Rosie Named New “View” Co-Host [TMZ]

Apr 27, 2006 · Link · Respond

She was slotted to take over for Katie Couric when the bubbly, gravitas-less, self-absorbed, babbling host was snatched up by CBS. But, sadly for Natalie Morales, it was Meredith Vieira who landed that role.

Now NBC News President Steve Capus is sopping up Morales’ tears with a fat, fancy title. She’s been been named “National Correspondent for NBC News’ Today.” This title is effective immediately, and carries a hefty responsibility. Instead of randomly popping in and out as morning fodder, Morales will now have a purpose and a “regular role in the third hour of Today.”

Capus carefully says: “For the third time in as many weeks, we find ourselves with another terrific announcement at ‘Today.’ Natalie is a dedicated journalist and first-rate broadcaster. For years, she’s been an important part of the program’s extended family, and this just formalizes her role. I couldn’t be happier about making it official.”

See, it’s not so bad, Nat. At least they gave Katie’s spot to some lady from another network and not Ann Curry. And someday you might even get to make as much money as Matt Lauer.

FLASH: Natalie Morales Named “National Correspondent” For Today [Bryan Statler, TV Newser]

Apr 19, 2006 · Link · Respond

Out goes Katie Couric, in comes Meredith Vieira. Or was it in comes Katie Couric, out goes Meredith Vieira? And which listened to her heart in their decision? And who said the people and crew were wonderful? Is change a good thing, or important? Who’s more greatful? Who has a greater connection with the audience? Who’s thrilled? Who’s excited? Who’s felt like a sister to her colleagues? Who’s going to be missed? Who’s still going to give advice? And is Matt Lauer really the biggest schmuck in all of this?

In the end, it turns out, it doesn’t matter.

Send In The Clones [Comedy Central]

Apr 13, 2006 · Link · Respond

Because nobody could live without his boy-next-door banter, NBC has signed Matt Lauer on for another three years on the Today show.

After the show took on Meredith Vieira to replace Katie Couric, Vieira’s contract initially paid her more than Lauer was making. Obviously, that would not fly with Mattie, who will now rake in $13 million a year, “at least a million dollars a year more than Ms. Vieira.” And a little bit closer to what Queen Katie was pulling.

But Lauer totally deserves it. As the New York Times points out, he’s just so versatile and entertaining.

… he virtually cross-examined a lawyer for some of the Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, and also played the children’s game of rock, paper, scissors with Ms. Couric to introduce another segment …

And they’re right. You just gotta’ love a guy who can jump from “sexual assault” to “children’s games” faster than you can say “TV personalities are way overpaid.”

Stabilizing ‘Today,’ Matt Lauer Extends Contract to 2011 [Jacques Steinberg, New York Times]

Apr 11, 2006 · Link · Respond

• It took Meredith Vieira longer to leave her abusive ex-boyfriend than her job as a host on The View. Working with Star Jones really is that bad. [R&M]

Jessica Simpson is too good for her own clothing line. Hello, those jeans were made for regular (aka fat) people. [TSG]

• Apparently having an Oscar under your belt doesn’t get you Dior contracts, or gift baskets with your name on them. Just ask what’s her face? Oh, Julia Roberts. [Page Six]

• Facing life after American Idol is really tough. Especially if you’re nicknamed after a cartoon chicken with nerdy glasses. [NYT]

• If you thought Tom Cruise was scary on the Oprah show, just wait until Naomi Campbell goes on. We really do hope security takes away all of her portable technology — Oprah tends to ask some tough questions. [Page Six]

Apr 10, 2006 · Link · Respond

Spring is in the air, people. Despite Jared Paul Stern dominating every other inch of black and white print, a few people managed to go through with their planned nuptials last week.

Campbell Brown and Richard Johnson were both married this weekend — though, unfortch, not to each other.

Brown, the weekend co-anchor on the Today show tied the knot with Dan Senor, “a Republican strategist and Fox News analyst,” last weekend, and their dreamy story was the subject of yesterday’s New York Times Weddings section.

And an obviously gleeful Johnson married Sessa von Richthofen on a yacht Friday night, among a who’s who guest list. (Seriously, doesn’t he look thrilled?) Though the details of their relationship were covered ad nauseum by the Times, it was the Daily News who shed publicity on the figures they are attempting to destroy with every breath.

These two really lucked out with the wedding gifts this year. Brown received a huge dis from the Today show when she was passed over for Meredith Vieira, and Johson got linked to one of the biggest scandals in New York Post history.

Mazel tov, medialites!

Campbell Brown and Dan Senor [Lois Smith Brady, New York Times]
Page Six editor makes own gossip at chic nups [Angela Mosconi and William Sherman]

Apr 10, 2006 · Link · Respond