September 11th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

'Katie's' first day: How'd she do?

In a way, Katie Couric's decision to have Jessica Simpson be one of the first guests when her daytime talk show, "Katie," premiered on Monday made perfect sense: Both women had something to prove.

Couric, of course, was showing that she's ready to transition from news anchor to daytime personality and emphasizing how relatable she is to just about everyone. Simpson, on the other hand, was throwing body critics off her back by showing off her weight loss progress and touting her health philosophy.

Wearing a black, long-sleeved dress with an on-trend peplum at the waist, Simpson told Couric that she's lost about the equivalent of a "small child" since she first began her work as a Weight Watchers spokesperson following the delivery of daughter Maxwell in May.

But the weight loss certainly didn't come as easily as the 32-year-old star originally imagined.

"I think during pregnancy I didn't really think about it. I thought my doctors were telling me that it was just a lot of water, and whenever my water broke, my whole entire stomach would go down," Simpson said with a laugh. "But that did not happen. All the weight did not come out with the baby."

Instead, Simpson's been concentrating on her diet and setting small goals for herself that she can accomplish each week, and she said has been seeing the pounds drop off.

But, she hastened to add, she's not working toward a "big body reveal" - and in fact opted to shoot a new Weight Watchers commercial from the neck up to make that point.

"It's really not about the numbers - I've lost enough weight where I can pat myself on the back," she told Couric. "I really have to separate myself from the world's expectations, and really just look inside of myself and have a relationship with myself and be healthy with myself, because I want to be a phenomenal role model for my child."

Couric and Simpson touched on motherhood - "a dream," Simpson said - and her engagement to Eric Johnson - no, they haven't set a date yet - while viewers questioned if this was going to be standard "Katie" fare from here on out.

The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz found Couric's enthusiasm to be "infectious," but was more hesitant about the talk show's content.

The interview with Simpson, Kurtz said, "underscored the challenge Couric faces as an experienced journalist and masterful interviewer who nevertheless must appeal to stay-at-home moms who are more interested in anorexia than Afghanistan," he wrote. So while the "show feels less newsy than originally advertised," it might be a good thing, "given the importance of connecting with the 25–54 female demo."

The Los Angeles Times was also disappointed with Couric's lack of weighty issues (no pun intended - seriously), bluntly positing that "if Couric was the best and brightest candidate to replace Oprah, things are not looking good, America."

And so, the Times' Mary McNamara continued, "if you were expecting Couric to leverage her anchor experience by making her talk show even a little smarter than most, well, that's not the direction she appears to be choosing."

But perhaps we just all need to adjust our expectations. The New York Times points out that in these post-"Oprah" show times, a daytime host has to find "an underserved niche." While Couric's competitors are using inspirational stories and approachable advice to woo audiences, Couric appears to be trying to show both audience members and her star guests that she's "Miss Relatability."

Time magazine observed that "that’s the line Katie will have to dance on to become the Next Whoever Comes After Oprah. ... Katie may not be as successful as Oprah, but she does, whatever you think of this format, seem immediately comfortable in it, cracking unguarded jokes but also owning her celebrity."

The "core trick she attempted on her first episode - existing at once on the level of her audience and her guests," Time concluded, will be a deciding factor in the show's success.

Did you catch the premiere of "Katie"? What'd you think?


Filed under: Celebrities • television

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Katie was never a journalist...so she's really just transitioning back to a job she's better qualified for that what she had attempted to do. If she has a guest i'm interested in i might watch and make a decision if she's any good at this then, but I think she might actually be good at a fluff job like this.

    October 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. janiselayne

    Watching the show now regarding breast feeding in public. Has anyone considered the child ? The bigest part of the feeding process is the mother and child bonding. The comfort, closeness, qiet time between mother and child. I believe this is a special time between mother and her child and that in no way should it be done in a public arena. Why would you want to be in a loud restaurant? If you are teaching a class while breastfeeding you are NOT giving your full uninterrupted attention that your child deserves. Staying home is a good thing. Stop acting like you are discriminated against. Put your child first for a change. IMO it is not appropriate in any way to breast feed in public. This act is you being selfish. And any mother who thinks otherwise is just kidding herself.

    September 27, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      So what you're saying is don't feed your baby if you're out at the park and the baby is hungry and you just want some fresh air? Because NOT feeding your baby because of what people might think is selfish and bad for the baby.

      And that if you're a new mom, you should stay home until that baby is weaned and never ever go to the store or take a walk or see the light of day? You know what, breasts are NOT a dirty thing. They were put there to nurse a baby. Perhaps you should remember how your parents raised you to look at them like they're dirty, bad things.

      September 28, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • lauren

      No...the biggest part of the feeding process a child is to FEED the child. Sure, bonding happens then, but if you DON'T feed a baby when he/she is hungry, what does THAT do for bonding? Even at home the environment is not always calm, quiet and all about bonding when breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a way of life. Babies eating are a way of life. No matter the location. Breastfeeding usually replaces bottle feeding. Why make mothers think they should give a bottle when in public?

      October 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bonnie smith

    I thought she did well for the show. It takes time to get the right rythem and logistics to make it all around smooth

    September 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bonnie smith

    I think she did well for the first show. It takes a rhythm and practice to really get going as to what is working and what needs improvement.

    September 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah

    Why people have a problem with smart and strong women. If Katie were dumb and weak, they would talk bad about her.

    September 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Yer Right!

    "It's Jessica who has to deal with loosing the weight gain." Why should the rest of the world be subjected to her on t.v. and why should and or would she be making money off Weight Watchers, when thousands of obese have to pay Weight Watchers for their help? Weight Watchers clients should take note and make a decision to NOT PAY WEIGHT WATCHERS just so that they can pay ppl like Jessica, Kirstie and Valerie, who btw do have personal chefs do have personal trainers and more than likely their own personal Weight Watchers consultant to go to their homes and they not have to go to see their consultants at their homes? D'OH!

    September 20, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tammy

    #1 I don't have cable in my house so I don't watch t.v. #2 When I did have cable and watched t.v. I NEVER watched Katie, on anything #3 she was and is waaaay over rated #4 I'm sooooo glad I don't pay big bucks for cable when all that's on t.v. is trash anyway, if I wanted to watch trash I'd drive down to the River Walk here in San Antonio and sit outside and just watch ppl down there #5 Katie shouldn't let everyone's opinion about her disturb her sleep, most ppl that I talk with can't stand Meredith Vieira either

    September 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. betty

    never will be opal

    September 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. suzeew

    cant stand her!!

    September 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pauline Scott

    Katie Couric's new talk show is TRASH – get her off the air. She is no Oprah!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nelly

    Didn't watch it just because I cannot stand her!

    September 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candace Kane

      I understand how you feel nelly. something about katie couric that's abrasive to say the least.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • amasing

      she will do like she does every night

      September 21, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lost Way

    Only in America would a preview of an upcoming commercial be newsworthy in any way...

    September 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. jessica

    has bit t-ts - never noticed it before...

    September 13, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. icon-design

    Please, tell more in detail..

    P.S. Please review our icons for Windows and windows12icons.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shirley

    I must say I am very impressed by Katie Couric's new show. I have been watching other new talk shows but I have to say that Katie has the "It" factor. When she is interviewer her guests there is a fluidity to the conversation. There are no awkward pauses like I have seen with others. It is clear that she is a master in her craft and she is very relatable to the public. I can't wait to see what's ahead in this new season of her talk show. Keep up the good work! I am very excited and hope that everyone watches her as she appears to be a very genuine person!!!

    September 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  16. My

    mother is married 50 years...and she knows exactly when to head to the watercooler to get her nails done.
    man is first, watercooler is second.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  17. Very simple

    we when you have a serious man you do what he wants to do also...if he's working you can do still your girl stuff.
    my married cousin's hubs works on saturday, she puts the house in order and head for the beauty treatment.
    Water Cooler things you can do when he's working.

    simple

    September 12, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  18. boooring

    I'm disappointed with what is happening to daytime talk. I actually now miss the weighty issues Oprah would bring up. Between that stupid The Chew and Couric's new show– it's all about cooking, fashion, gossip, and any other hip trends. I was looking forward to an Oprah replacement, but I guess we won't get one. Water cooler talk is definitely getting dumbed down.

    September 12, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  19. 0929

    stfu

    September 12, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  20. Annie V.

    People! Listen up! Jessica Simpson did not start a company. The company that pays her for her name on clothes, shoes, handbags, etc. belongs to Vince Camuto. She does NOT design any of these things. I have to give her credit for saying on The View that she has nothing to do with any of it. Her mother handles all of it for her although maybe once a year Jessica has to show up at a board meeting.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Orange H.

    give her chance it was only the first show

    September 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  22. darla Jo Jones

    Jessica Simpson has a great personality and knows how to grab clients..she knows how to make them run to her instead of running from her. we'd hire her....she's got the stuff ....

    September 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Karl Bucker

    Jessica Simpson was smart...she started a clothing line that is now close to a billion dollars.
    good for her.

    September 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Cats

    she need time-times have changed if the station does not get the ratings soon they will cancel.

    September 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Ken

    Love Katie, poor choice of guest for the first show .... we all need to give a chance to work out the kinks of a new show ....

    September 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricky

      Unless they plan on getting rid of Katie and replacing her with a new person those kinks you speak of aren't going to be worked out. Katie has had her time, stop beating that old nag, it's dead now

      September 20, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  26. Kats

    Simpson gained a lot of weight while pregant, however anyone's whose been pregnant, and not all woman, do crave, and do carry the weight differently. It can be dangerous to gain a lot of weight because what affects the mother does affect the baby. Everyone seems to jump on the band wagon and give their takes on this, which is non of anyone's business. It's Jessica who has to deal with loosing the weight gain. She's a matured woman and fist time mother, so her experience then and now, I'm sure will alter how she will be should she have another child. People should just leave it alone. The media and the people who sit behind the desk and criticize about this/that, who cares. Is this really important news coverage. It's a celebrity, oh what drama, then again that's what sells news. So sick of it. Why not look at the good and positive things about Jessica Simpson. Bring it out and share it, now that's purposeful and positive.

    September 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Patty

    Good Shows Katie but...... You lack a little energy. Not trying to sound rude but your personality needs a little pep.

    September 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Patti

    I watched both days and all I have to say is OMG, her show is SOOOOOOOOOO BORING. If my boss didn't have it on I would have changed the channel. All I can say is I won't be watching on my days off. I would rather have GMA back in place of Katie. Come on Katie if you don't want to be canceled then you need to make the show enjoyable, right now it is like watching paint dry.

    September 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  29. I.

    i don't its going to work for her she should have remained with matt lauer

    September 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Joan S

    I was disappointed. Felt Jessica Simpson was fluff but Sheryl Crow interview walked that fine line very well. Will try again in about a month or so to see if things have gotten into a rhythmn. Hope it does. I am a long-time Katie fan from her days at WRC in Wash DC.

    September 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  31. souk.

    there is i perky in the news..but i'm her cuz...lol

    September 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  32. souk

    there are not too many perkey women in news....lol

    September 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Debut

    I Changed the channel right after her debut with Matt Lauer

    September 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Charlotte

    I thought it was good. I love the guests she's having this week. I will keep watching.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  35. katie

    has a reputation of being bubbly and perky...i never thought she had a personality. she's cute...but there is no sparkle
    in her personality...

    September 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  36. i don't really watch much tv...

    but if she was anything the cbs evening news....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    September 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Joanne Darling

    Katies new show was great. Loved it all I will keep watching her.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  38. j

    Katie was trying albeit too hard

    September 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  39. essie

    i just wanted to hear from Jessica. I thought it was boring.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  40. tv bug

    What is it with the American audiences today?? Why is it that we have to have "instant gradification" on any show or we completly trash it?? Give Katie ( I like her) and all of the other new shows coming on this fall, a chance. How many times have we complained that the networks never gave a show that we liked a chance to grab an audience before yanking it off the air?? Be fair people.. If you don't like a show, change the channel. I mean, with the remote controls now-a-days, we don't even have to move out of our comfortable chairs anymore

    September 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Bramps

    The fact that she is still on TV and Obama is our President is a sure sign of the country's decay and downward spiral of intelligence at the hands of the teachers of this country. Both of the people mentioned would have been laughed at in the 50's and early 60's. Now they are adored. God help us.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • karen

      I suppose you think Sarah Palin would be the more informed, more intelligent choice for both positions. Thank goodness the majority of people in this country think otherwise.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  42. pat barber

    Sorry but Katie is not a talk show host, to stiff and programmed.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  43. honey...

    there are alot of bores in the world believe me! when katie hops on the horse the network will be giving her
    glowing reviews...

    September 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Vickie Wallace

    I've always loved Katie Couric. Yet she is not relatable as a talk show host and the show was not only boring, it was nothing different from any talk show. Katie - sorry - but you belong back in news!

    September 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Katie's

    last name is Couric. Just sayin'.

    September 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Couric

    & co is a on all the airwaves and just finished with another speech...darn she's good....

    September 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  47. pj

    Where is the law that says couric always has to be on the air???!!!! GO AWAY!!!!

    September 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • luv.swans

      I couldn't agree more, only reason she has this talk show is when they fired her they had to buy out her contract and talk shows are cheaper to make than most other types. Go away, pretty please

      September 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  48. NC

    She had Jessica Simpson on. That should just about sum up how she did, or can be expected to do.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Marina

    ratings will be up and financially the producer won't get hit with funds.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Mark

    I thought Katie was fair at best. It was really nothing special. However, it you take into account all of the money being put into this compared to other talk shows it makes it even worse. I'll be curious to see how well it does in the ratings. While I'm sure people will watch it in the beginning, I can't see it having much long term success.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jessie

    poor jess..she's lost most of the weight now...if she's looking at this shot she must be saying oh lord..LOL

    September 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  52. JellyBean

    Dayum, Jessica Simpson got huge when she was pregnant.!

    September 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  53. lincoln

    I was at work so I didn't see any of it. What I did see of it was pretty good though. Katie is perky and nice.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Carla Baker

    Just exactly what I expected. Boring, simplistic, nothing noteworthy, just like Today, CBS evening news, etc. Certainly is not nor will she ever be Oprah Winfrey, Johnny Carson, or Jimmy Kimmel.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  55. twelve

    days of christmas?

    September 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  56. make

    decision?

    September 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |

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