NBC’s long-anticipated expansion of the "Today" show to four hours will take place on Monday, September 10th. The Peacock net says nearly 90% of affiliates have signed on to carry the additional hour at 10:00 or 11:00 am, depending on time zone, while some others will carry it later the same day.
The 4th hour will be hosted by a team of well-known names from NBC News: Today News Anchor and "Dateline NBC" Anchor Ann Curry, National Correspondent Natalie Morales, and Correspondent Hoda Kotb. NBC News correspondents and contributors will make regular appearances as co-anchors, including Amy Robach, David Gregory, Giada DeLaurentiis, Jenna Wolfe, Nancy Snyderman and Tiki Barber, among others. The network announcement says "occasionally a special guest – some unexpected – will join Ann, Natalie and Hoda as co-anchor. Today Senior Producer Amy Rosenblum will oversee the 4th hour of Today.
The 3rd hour of Today launched in 2000 and NBC says it has been extremely successful both from an audience standpoint and in extending the "Today" brand. In its first sweep, in November 2000, Today’s 3rd hour improved time slot performance by 13% in household ratings and 5% in the Women 25-54 demographic. Currently, it averages more than 3.6 million viewers each day, retaining 81% of Today’s 8:30 a.m. audience. The Peacock net proudly notes that the 3rd hour tops ABC’s "The View" by 4% in total viewers and CBS’ "Early Show" by 35%.
TVBR observation: This franchise definitely has legs. How many hours of "Today" will attract viewers? It’s hard to say, since the audience cycles through, just as it does for the cable news channels. Very few people who watched hour one will still be around for hour four, but it could still be a substantial audience.