A deal between ABC and Katie Couric that would give her a syndicated talk show as well as a role in ABC News is close to being done.
That’s the word from TMZ, which says that Couric is close to closing a $20 million deal with the network for an hour-long, syndicated daytime show that would premiere in fall 2012. The deal also calls for her to play a role in the network news division, including contributing pieces to “20/20” and other duties.
There’s also some scary language in the TMZ story about ABC potentially making room for Couric’s show by canceling “General Hospital” — but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Since Couric’s show would be syndicated and therefore not owned by the network (the way “GH” and “The View” are), what would probably happen is that ABC would give an extra hour of daytime programming back to its affiliates. Couric’s show would likely air in the 3 p.m. ET spot “General Hospital” currently occupies, but the soap could stay on the air in an earlier timeslot, Deadline reports.
It’s also possible that by fall 2012, one of the two talk shows ABC is launching to replace “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” will have fallen by the wayside, freeing up more room for a Couric show.
Meanwhile, Deadline also notes that CBS could still be a player for Couric if it wants to be. Between now and June 5, when her contract with the Eye formally ends, CBS has the right to match any offer from a competitor.