NBC giving "Today" a special primetime slot

Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:03am EST
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - TV's top breakfast cast is heading to a one-time-only slot after dinner.

NBC's "Today" is preparing a primetime special for December 22. The hour-long "2008: Today Looks Back, a Holiday Special" will begin at 8 p.m.

As the name implies, the program will review the year with the five top news stories, "moving moments" and personalities. It's the first time in 13 years that "Today" has gotten a spot in primetime, but co-hosts Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Ann Curry won't be doing it live.

"It was such an incredible year, with the economy and the election and the Olympics, just for starters," said executive producer Jim Bell. "There were a range of emotions and stories that resonated, in particular on the 'Today' show."

Also appearing on the show will be other "Today" staffers including Lester Holt, Amy Robach, Willard Scott, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

One segment will be on "Today" bloopers, of which there are likely to be many.

"When you're doing four hours of TV (live) a day, you inevitably end up with a lot of material for outtakes and blooper reels," Bell said.

Who knows? The primetime show could become an annual event.

"I suppose but I don't know if we're going to have another year like we did in 2008," Bell said. "I really think it was the year that called for it, too. There was such incredible material. But you never know. We're always here to help."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter