Today Gets a Dose of Maury

Faced with prime-time fires to put out, NBC is jumping into action to make sure mornings don’t turn into a problem, too.

Although Today enjoyed an Olympic Games bump this summer, ABC’s Good Morning America has made up substantial ratings ground from this time a year ago: GMA has cut Today’s lead in total viewers almost in half, from 1.3 million to 570,000. That may help to explain why NBC has recruited Amy Rosenblum, executive producer of NBC Universal’s Maury, to consult on Today, as well.

With Rosenblum tweaking Today, it’s tempting to imagine Katie Couric and Matt Lauer adopting the scabrous style of Maury Povich’s talk show (Coming this Friday: “I slept with 2 boys at 14…who’s the father?”), but Rosenblum shouldn’t be confused with a bottom-feeding tabloid producer. She’s a former booker for CBS Evening News, where she developed a reputation as an indefatigable storyhound. Though she has sharp elbows, Rosenblum is also charming enough to have become pals with Miss Silky herself, Diane Sawyer, when both were at CBS. Now the two women are on opposite sides as Sawyer and Good Morning America draw a bead on Today’s lead.