Katie Couric to return to ‘Today’ show for one week

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Katie Couric will return to her former home at NBC’s Today show as co-anchor — for one week only.

The gig will have Couric filling in for current co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, who is on maternity leave. (Guthrie gave birth to her second child, a boy, Dec. 9). The Los Angeles Times was the first to report the news.

Rumor had it that Couric was to fill in the last time Guthrie was on maternity leave in 2014, but the guest stint never came to pass. This time, she’ll be on during the week of Jan. 2, sitting next to Matt Lauer, her former longtime co-host on the show. She anchored Today for 15 years, from 1991 to 2006, before leaving for the CBS Evening News. The Couric-Lauer pairing was among the show’s most successful, making Couric and Lauer household names. Couric has maintained a friendship with Lauer, who will celebrate 20 years on Today next year.

The NBC News franchise has been closing the viewer gap with ABC’s Good Morning America, which famously snapped Today’s 852-week winning streak back in 2012. But anchor defections at GMA since then have sapped the show’s momentum. For the season, Today is less than 100,000 viewers behind GMA and is No. 1 among the critical 25-54 demographic.

See all of the “Today” show anchors through the years:

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