The Today Show facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Today
Today show (2009-13) logo
Also known as The Today Show
Genre Morning news/talk
Created by Sylvester Weaver
Presented by
  • Weekdays:
  • Savannah Guthrie
  • Hoda Kotb
  • Al Roker
  • Craig Melvin
  • Carson Daly
  • Jenna Bush Hager
  • Weekends:
  • Sheinelle Jones
  • Peter Alexander
  • Dylan Dreyer
  • Willie Geist
  • (See full list)
Narrated by
  • Fred Facey
  • Les Marshak (Weekdays; 2006 - present)
Theme music composer
  • Les Brown (1952–1961)
  • Django Reinhardt (1962–1963)
  • Erroll Garner (1963–1971)
  • Ray Ellis (1971–1985)
  • John Williams (1985–2013)
  • Adam Gubman (2013–)
Opening theme 2012 Today AGOpen1 (2013–present)
Ending theme "Energetic Today"
"Slow Today"
Composer(s) Adam Gubman & Non-Stop Music
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 67
No. of episodes 17,624 (as of January 2, 2018)[needs update]
Production
Executive producer(s) Libby Leist, Tom Mazzarelli
Location(s) Studio 1A, NBC Studios
New York City, New York
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 4 hours (weekdays),
2 hours (Saturdays),
1 hour (Sundays)
Production company(s) NBC News Productions
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV)
(1952–2006)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
(2006–present)
Original run January 14, 1952 (1952-01-14) – present
Chronology
Related shows Early Today

Today, also called The Today Show, is an American news and talk morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre on American television and in the world, and after 67 years of broadcasting it is the fifth-longest-running American television series.

Originally a weekday two-hour program from 7 to 9 a.m., it expanded to Sundays in 1987 and Saturdays in 1992. The weekday broadcast expanded to three hours in 2000, and to four hours in 2007 (though over time, the third and fourth hours essentially became their own distinct entities). Today's dominance was virtually unchallenged by the other networks until the late 1980s, when it was overtaken by ABC's Good Morning America. Today retook the Nielsen ratings lead the week of December 11, 1995, and held onto that position for 852 consecutive weeks until the week of April 9, 2012, when Good Morning America topped it again. Today maintained its No. 2 status behind GMA from the summer of 2012 until it regained the lead in the aftermath of anchor Matt Lauer's departure in November 2017. In 2002, Today was ranked No. 17 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

On-air staff

Weekdays

During the week, the flagship hours of Today (7-9 a.m.) are co-anchored by Savannah Guthrie (2012–present) and Hoda Kotb (2018–present) alongside co-hosts Al Roker (weather anchor; 1996–present), Craig Melvin (news anchor; 2018–present), Carson Daly (social media anchor/Orange Room anchor; 2013–present), and Jenna Bush Hager (correspondent; 2009–present).

Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer also appear on the main show as contributors, and serve as co-hosts (with Roker and Melvin) of the Third Hour at 9 a.m.

Weekends

Saturday editions are anchored by Jones, Dreyer, and Peter Alexander, Willie Geist anchors on Sunday.

Former staff

Today anchors started out as "Communicators". Creator Pat Weaver envisioned a person whose responsibilities would go beyond the bounds of traditional sit-down news anchors. The Communicator would interview, report, moderate dialogue and generally tie the show together into a coherent whole. Garroway and his successors have all followed that model, with little variation. Today, the hosts are expected to do much the same, and on any given day will talk with correspondents, newsmakers and lifestyle experts; introduce and close each half-hour; conduct special segments (such as cooking or fashion) and go on-assignment to host the program from different locations. Although the "Communicator" nomenclature has since dropped out of favor, the job remains largely the same.

Anchors

Including Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, eight men and eight women have served as primary Today hosts since the program's inception:

  • Dave Garroway (January 14, 1952 – June 16, 1961)
  • John Chancellor (July 17, 1961 – September 7, 1962)
  • Hugh Downs (September 10, 1962 – October 8, 1971)
  • Barbara Walters (September 16, 1966 – June 4, 1976)
  • Frank McGee (October 11, 1971 – April 17, 1974)
  • Jim Hartz (July 29, 1974 – August 23, 1976)
  • Tom Brokaw (August 30, 1976 – December 18, 1981)
  • Jane Pauley (October 11, 1976 – December 29, 1989)
  • Bryant Gumbel (January 4, 1982 – January 3, 1997)
  • Deborah Norville (January 8, 1990 – February 22, 1991)
  • Katie Couric (April 5, 1991 – May 31, 2006)
  • Matt Lauer (January 6, 1997 – November 28, 2017)
  • Meredith Vieira (September 13, 2006 – June 8, 2011)
  • Ann Curry (June 9, 2011 – June 28, 2012)
Host Tenures by the Numbers
# Host Number of Years
1 Matt Lauer 20 Years and 10 Months
2 Katie Couric 15 Years and 1 Month
3 Bryant Gumbel 15 Years
4 Jane Pauley 13 Years and 2 Months
5 Barbara Walters 9 years and 8 Months
6 Dave Garroway 9 years and 5 Months
7 Hugh Downs 9 years and 29 Days
8 Savannah Guthrie 6 Years
9 Tom Brokaw 5 Years and 3 Months
10 Meredith Vieira 4 Years and 8 Months
11 Frank McGee 4 Years and 6 Months
12 Jim Hartz 2 Years and 26 Days
13 John Chancellor 1 Year, 1 Month and 21 Days
14 Deborah Norville 1 Year, 1 Month and 14 Days
15 Ann Curry 1 Year and 20 Days
16 Hoda Kotb 1 Year

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The Today Show Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.