The Today Show is the first American breakfast television show that airs every morning on NBC. The first episode of the Today Show was aired on January 14, 1952 and it became the fourth longest running American television series. Originally, the Today Show had a two hour program on weekdays. When the producers of the TV show saw that the show was successful, they decided to expand it to Sundays and Saturdays. The dominance of Today Show was virtually unchallenged, that is until the ABC network released Good Morning America.
Over the years, the format of the Today Show has changed. The show blended national news headlines, interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, and gimmicks. The Today Show eventually added a sports section, as well as weather, horoscope and entertainment sections. The Today Show was aired live only in the Eastern and Central time zones, broadcasting three hours per morning but seen for only two hours in each time zone.
Partly to accommodate host Dave Garroway’s declining health, The Today Show ceased live broadcasts in the summer of 1958, opting instead to broadcast an edition tapes the prior afternoon. This experiment drew criticism from many sides and ended when John Chancellor replaced Garroway in 1961. The first set of the Today Show was placed in a functional newsroom in the studio, which Garroway called the nerve centre of the world. The barrier between backstage and on-stage was virtually non-existent. Glimpses of camera crew and technicians were a frequent occurrence, as were off screen voices conversing with Garroways. After the Today Show gained more popularity, the studio was moved in the main headquarters of NBC. Today, the set for the Today Show includes the interview area, the couch area, the news desk, the performance/extra space area, and home base, which is where the anchors start the show. The Today Show runs even nowadays in both weekdays and weekends, and is still one of the most successful shows in America. The Today Show has even got special series, such as Saturday Today on the Plaza, featuring live performances by the biggest names in music and Broadway industry.