Karl Stefanovic returns to Today earlier than expected
Karl Stefanovic's 'prodigal son' return to the troubled Today Show is to take place even earlier than expected.
Media website TV Blackbox, said Stefanovic will be called upon for a special Saturday morning broadcast covering tomorrow's extreme weather conditions and the relentless blazes across the country. The new-look Today had been scheduled to start on Monday.
As reported by Kevin Perry, Nine has decided to bring forward the launch of its new Today line-up, with Stefanovic joined by his new co-host Allison Langdon to cover the devastation across the country, as conditions are forecast to hit catastrophic.
Channel 9 has now confirmed the early comeback.
EXCLUSIVE | Nine brings forward new Today launch as Saturday Fire conditions forcast to hit Catastrophic. https://t.co/s66ksvNLhc— Robert McKnight (@rob_mcknight) January 3, 2020
The show will reportedly include the full new line up for the first time, comprising Tracy Vo as newsreader, Alex Cullen as sports presenter, Tim Davies as weather presenter as well as Brooke Boney as entertainment presenter, m the only person to return from Today in 2019.
The bushfire special is scheduled for 7am, according to the report, to remain on-air for the morning to coincide with morning news developments.
Nine journalists reporting live from the country's fire zones will feature throughout the broadcast, reportedly overseen by director of morning television, Steven Burling.
Stefanovic's surprise comeback, announced last November, sent shockwaves through the media industry, given it's barely a year since his stunning downfall.
It is said to have shaken competing morning shows, particularly Channel 7's Sunrise.
According to reports, hosts Sam Armytage and David Koch will return to screens on the anticipated date of January 6, a week earlier than expected, to match the relaunch of rival Today and the resurrection of Karl Stefanovic.
It is not known whether Sunrise has brought forward its 2020 return to the weekend.
"Seven are taking it very seriously," media analyst Steve Allen previously told news.com.au.
"They aren't going to let Nine build up any steam before their own front row forwards are lined up. Seven is thinking of it strategically. You can't afford a new crew to have any advantage and be there unopposed."
Stefanovic was dumped as co-host in December 2018 after an extended period of negative publicity surrounding his personal life - the end of his marriage, his new relationship and then his glitzy Mexican wedding.
The thought was that the mass exodus of eyeballs was due to his PR nightmare, particularly when it came the dominant female demographic.
But the new line-up of Georgie Gardener and Deborah Knight failed to impress, seeing the show's audience slip even further and the gap with Sunrise extend substantially.
Last week, Nine teased the first look at Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon hosting The Today Show in 2020.
"With over four decades in news between them, Karl and Ally have experienced it all. On Monday, Jan 6, they come together to bring you Australia's best breakfast news," the voiceover announced.
"We can't wait to tell you all the news, all the important stuff of the day, but send you off with a laugh," said Stefanovic.
"We just provide a bit of fun, but you know that when the big stories break, we've got it covered," said Langdon. "See you then, bright and early! Remember how to set your alarm, Karl?"
"Not really," said Stefanovic with a laugh.