Morning television always seems to be going through one big shakeup or another, and NBC's Today is at the center of that conversation more often than not. Soon, the daily TV staple will be saying goodbye to longtime host Kathie Lee Gifford, but colleague Al Roker still seems to be in disbelief about the matter, saying it's something that he's purposefully avoided addressing on the show at this point. In his words:
Well, I think we're just kind of ignoring it. That maybe she'll change her mind. You know… it's gonna be very bittersweet but, you know, she has been such a great part of Today, so it's -- I don’t wanna think about it!
It's absolutely a long shot to just blindly hope that Kathie Lee Gifford is going to reverse her public decision to leave Today in April.. Granted, she clearly isn't leaving on harsh terms, or she probably would have made a swift exit whenever she announced her impending plans back in December.
As such, it's theoretically possible that Kathie Lee Gifford could change her mind about when she wants to put Today in her rear-view mirror. If Al Roker starts fully campaigning for Gifford to stick around, and he gets enough people invested in the cause, then Gifford could possibly renege on her intentions to leave Today.
If that would be the case, I'm sure co-host Hoda Kotb would be pleased, and it would give Joel McHale something to look forward to. It would also allow for more time to create more unforgettable memories, such as the time she reunited with Regis Philbin. At least viewers can expect for her to be downing some wine with Kotb in the months she has left on the show.
Al Roker told Entertainment Tonight that he would miss a lot about Kathie Lee Gifford when she leaves, from her faith to her "wicked sense of humor," and lauded he broadcasting skills. As well, he complimented her ability to inspire others to be themselves, and all without being direct and up front about it.
NBC and Today's producers have yet to decide on a full-time replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford, although many would probably agree that Jenna Bush Hager would be perfect to step into the role when it becomes available. But what about Al Roker himself filling in during Today's fourth hour? Here''s what he says.
Listen, if they need me to fill in, I’m happy to. But I think three hours of Al Roker is more than anybody really wants to see.
Alas, it's true that Al Roker is already spread across the first three hours of Today, so making him a major part of the final portion might be overkill. So let's all hope that NBC announces a permanent replacement soon, or that Kathie Lee Gifford announces that her original announcement was just a figment of all our collective imaginations.
Today airs every morning on NBC at 7:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows will be hitting the TV schedule a little later in the day, head to our midseason premiere schedule.