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There has been a void in the Today show since Hoda Kotb took a leave of absence following the arrival of her newly adopted daughter Haley Joy. I wouldn't say Kathie Lee has been lost without her partner, but she might have regressed a bit, going so far as to bring back Regis Philbin for a reunion. If you've been wondering when Kotb will make her way back into your mornings, the answer is finally here, and it's much sooner than you think: next week!
NBC has been running promos since Thursday (via TV Insider) saying that Hoda Kotb will be returning Today this coming Monday. Kotb appeared on the show last week as a guest of sorts to celebrate her 9-year Today Show tenure with Kathie Lee Gifford and Matt Lauer, as well as to showcase her new infant Hayley Lee. Besides that, this will be the first time Kotb returns to hosting duties following her initial departure in late February.
The absence was initially unexplained, causing staff and fans to obsessively follow Kotb, who is a cancer survivor, on Instagram trying to figure out what was up. All of the world would get an answer days later when she publicly revealed her adoption via social media. Now that Kotb will be back with Gifford, how long will the two continue to rule the roost of the 10 a.m. hour of Today?
That's a great question, as NBC has been working behind the scenes to find a way to best incorporate their newly acquired former Fox News host Megyn Kelly into Today's mix. Rumors swirled that Kelly's addition to the Today lineup means the third hour (currently hosted by Gifford and Kotb) would be nixed. Considering their popularity, NBC would likely move the pair to an earlier hour, or perhaps leave them in their spot and instead give Kelly the hour prior which features Al Roker and Tamron Hall. (This half-controversy led to Hall announcing she'd be leaving NBC.) Whatever the case, Kotb's official return Monday will silence any rumors that the dynamic morning duo are going away anytime soon.
For those of you eager to see Hoda Kotb reunite with Kathie Lee Gifford, you can join the Today show celebration beginning Monday at 7 a.m. ET. Of course, you'll probably have to wait until 10 a.m. for the real Kotb action to begin, but I'm sure they'll make a show of welcoming her back prior to that start time. If you'd rather wait for the YouTube clips following her comeback and spend your Monday morning time sleeping in or doing other things like scheduling all the shows you want to watch in the coming weeks on your DVR, check out our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule.