Katie Couric presents 'a valentine' to Regis Philbin on '20/20' special
As she starts revving up for next fall's launch of her syndicated weekday talk show "Katie" -- now sold in more than 80 percent of the country -- the former "CBS Evening News" anchor and co-host of NBC's "Today" also is working on multiple ABC News specials.
On Thursday (Nov. 17), Couric presents a "20/20" profile of Regis Philbin on the eve of his "Live! With Regis and Kelly" sign-off. "I feel very fortunate that ABC was able to give us such a terrific time slot," Couric tells Zap2it. "Regis has had such an extraordinary run, this is really a valentine to him, and I think he richly deserves it.
"I've interviewed a lot of people, but he's one of the most generous people I've ever interviewed. He may grouse about it a little bit, in his unique Regis way, before the cameras are turned on ... but he always comes to play, he gives of himself and he really makes it easy. I pretty much just had to say, 'Hi, Regis,' and he was off and running."
Couric adds "it's been really a pleasure for me" to spend so much time focusing on Philbin lately, but she muses, "He was definitely O.D.'ing on me by the end. It was like a bad rash: 'Katie Couric! You again?'"
A week after the Philbin tribute, on Thanksgiving night (Thursday, Nov. 24), Couric interviews Lady Gaga on an ABC special that also includes performances by the music superstar and even Gaga cooking segments. Then on Thursday, Dec. 15, the two-hour program "The Year ... With Katie Couric" will look back at events and personalities of the preceding 12 months.
Couric joined Kelly Ripa to co-host an episode of "Live! With Regis and Kelly" last month. While there aren't any plans for her to do so again after Philbin's exit, Couric says, "If I can be helpful, I'd be more than happy to do it. I love Kelly, and we had a great time. Right now, they're probably in search of a permanent person, and that's not really in the cards for me.
"The staff over there has been terrific, and I really enjoyed co-hosting with Kelly, but I'm not sure," Couric concludes. "It might be too much estrogen."