Tuning in to TV: Brokaw in ‘great health’ after hospital visit

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With a healthy dose of time, attention and energy, can Ms. Couric transfer her America’s-sweetheart appeal to the daytime-talk world without shortchanging the ideals she espoused at the “CBS Evening News”? Can she satisfy her serious side and her playful side, too?

“A daytime format seemed to be the best fit for my skill set,” said Ms. Couric, 55, relaxing on the couch in her office for an interview. “I like interacting with people. I like conversation. I like spontaneity. There are very few places on TV where you can have all that.

“The notion of a startup was exciting,” she continued. “Having worked at networks with infrastructures and bureaucracies, I feel liberated that I don’t have people on top of me saying, ‘No, you can’t’ or ‘This isn’t the way we’ve always done things.’”

One more plus: This new venture reunites her with Jeff Zucker, in recent years a top executive at NBC Universal but, before that, her executive producer at “Today.”

“That was exciting to me,” she said. “We’re very simpatico. We have very similar tastes. It’s kind of uncanny.”

But what kind of show will their collaborative tastes produce?

“What we’re trying to do is take issues that are in the zeitgeist and affect people’s lives, and dig a little deeper to give people some perspective,” Ms. Couric summed up. Her show will typically air right after taping, “and I want to make it as timely as possible, even though we may be dealing with evergreen issues.”

“There’s always an intelligent way to talk about even light subjects,” she added for good measure.

On Monday’s premiere, guests include new mom Jessica Simpson and Ms. Couric’s pal Sheryl Crow.

On Tuesday, Ms. Couric welcomes Aimee Copeland, the Georgia woman who lost both hands, her left leg and right foot to a rare flesh-eating disease. Wednesday, it’s Jennifer Lopez. And on Thursday, her guests are Brene Brown, author of the upcoming motivational book “Daring Greatly” and popular blogger Jenny Lawson.

“I just hope people will be receptive to the whole spectrum of different kinds of shows that I really want to do,” Ms. Couric said. “I hope that we won’t tackle a superserious subject and find people aren’t interested.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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