It's official. Katie Couric is heading to ABC Daytime, and taking General Hospital's 3 pm timeslot! Couric will produce and host her own talk show which will be nationally syndicated starting Sept. 2012. The journalist will also join ABC News' team. Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of Disney Media Networks' Anne Sweeney stated:
Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her. We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.
Eight ABC-owned stations in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Raleigh/Durham have already cleared the show for the GH slot. As previously speculated, ABC will give the last hour of its daytime programming block back to affiliates in Sep. 2012.
According to an ABC News press release, the network "continues to support “General Hospital,” and the plans to launch “The Chew” in September of this year and “The Revolution” in January 2012."
Um...yeah, some support, giving up GH's longterm timeslot. So much for "Love in the Afternoon." Industry pundits are betting GH's last shot at survival is the failure of either The Chew of The Revolution, which would allow the serial to presumably be moved into one of those timeslots.