Former Today and The View host Meredith Vieira will headline her own daytime series starting September 8. The afternoon syndicated show will be a mix of interviews, giveaways, humor, and social causes like children’s welfare, animal rights, and multiple sclerosis, which Vieira’s husband has suffered for decades.
Among the more idiosyncratic touches will be a live, all-female band (led by Bruce Springsteen’s backup singer Everett Bradley) and a recurring segment devoted to matching service animals with an underprivileged recipient. The set is reportedly a re-creation of her own living room, complete with pet-bitten furniture.
In a feature article, The Hollywood Reporter chronicled Vieira’s enduring media career (with stints in radio and TV news) and theorized the TV personality’s mass appeal to audiences (she’s hardworking and professional, but also knows when to back off from a job).
But the article is also worth reading for the telling peeks into what Vieira is like off-camera. Among the surprising details are:
"One of the things you need to know about Meredith is that Meredith kisses," Matt Lauer tells me in a serious tone. "On the lips."
Vieira also has a subversive streak. … To this day, every time she is at NBC — she has remained a news correspondent there — she sneaks into Lauer’s dressing room and scribbles profanities on his mirror. "If I see her in the makeup room or in the studio," says Lauer, "I know that when I walk into my dressing room she will have taken her lipstick and written something completely vile on my mirror. Meredith has an edge."