To Become Daytime Queen, Katie Couric Must Topple ... Judge Judy?
By Rob Shuter Posted Jun 7th 2011 09:50AM
Minutes after it was announced Monday that Katie Couric had signed a multi-year deal with ABC to host and produce a nationally syndicated daytime talker, friends of the top-rated 'Judge Judy' Sheindlin warn the bubbly host that she has no intention of giving up her syndi-crown any time soon.
"What people don't know is that Judge Judy is the real powerhouse to beat," an insider tells me. "It's not about who will replace Oprah, Judge Judy has already done that, beating her week after week. Now with Oprah gone, Judy's numbers will only go higher."
'Judge Judy' has consistently bested all first-run syndication and even took out the 'Oprah Winfrey Show' in its second-to-last week of existence, according to figures on TV by the Numbers. 'Judy' attracted more than 2 million additional viewers than 'Oprah the week ending May 22, with 7.0 rating to O's 5.4.
Katie said she's "very happy" to return to ABC, where she began her career in 1979. Her untitled show will debut in September 2012 and be based in New York City. Until then, she'll anchor ABC News specials. Her former boss at NBC, Jeff Zucker, will produce the talker.
Judge Judy, distributed by CBS Television, is beginning its 16th season in September.
"There will be a lot of pressure on Katie's new show to deliver big numbers right away," a TV insider tells me.
There is little doubt that Katie will attract TONS of attention and ratings for her show, but higher-ups are looking to secure bragging rights and make the No. 1 syndicated offering in the nation a talk program, not a TV-judge one.
"The real show everyone wants to beat is Judy," the TV insider notes."All the press has been Oprah, Oprah, Oprah and Katie trying to replace her. However, everyone at ABC including Katie knows the show they need to target is Judy. Good luck with that."
Since leaving her anchor chair of the 'CBS Evening News' last month after five years, Katie has been eager to move on with the next phase of her life and while the format of the new show is still being finalized, friends who have worked with Katie tells me, "Katie is back. She wants this to succeed more than anything she has ever done!"
► Follow @NaughtyNiceRob on Twitter!
MORE ABOUT Katie Couric
Find the latest stories, biography, photos, videos, and more.Read more about Katie Couric Li
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
Kate Middleton is officially a princess. She walked the aisle in an Alexander...
According to Denise, she's not sure that her estranged ex is completely sober....
Popeater Hot Topics
- Jen Aniston, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Hudgens and a Host of Other A-List Stars Sing Farewell to Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately Finale Show
- Pamela Anderson Calls off Divorce from Husband Rick Salomon, Couple Still Married
- Chris Soules Is the Next Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. Reacts; Meet Julianna Margulies Hot Husband: Top 5 Stories
- Liv Tyler Tries Her Best To Hide Her Midsection While On Yacht ? What Could It Be??
- Teresa Giudice Regrets Hearing Rumor That Rino Aprea Cheated On His Wife With Her Mother
- Making It Work! Pamela Anderson Petitions To Call Off Divorce From Rick Salomon ? ?He's The Best Thing For Her,' Says Pal
- Justin Bieber goes country, covers Johnny Cash
- 'Full House' cast and producers mulling a revival, report says
- Matt Damon uses toilet water in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
- Chelsea Handler Gives a Heartfelt Goodbye During the Chelsea Lately Series Finale—See the Emotional Clip!
- Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez and Many More Celebs Sing Goodbye to Chelsea Lately—Watch the Clip!
- Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston and Mary McCormack Host Intervention for Chelsea Handler—See the Chelsea Lately Clip!