Today is NBC's oldest, longest running television program, having launched in 1952, meaning that it celebrated its 65th anniversary back in January.
A lot of us are old enough to remember that Today was originally 2 hours in length (7-9 am ET), but in the last decade has doubled in size to 4 hours (7-11 am ET) if for no other reason than to milk the ratings and justify the presence of singer-former talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford, who anchors the 4th hour.
In this regard, Today, while it hasn't entirely veered away from its original concept as a news & variety program--the first of its kind back in 1952--has become bloated needlessly, especially now that ABC & CBS have been aggressively competing, but confining themselves to the 7-9 am window.
Let's take a trip back in time to 1952 and original anchor Dave Garroway:
Garroway would soon be joined by a chimp, J. Fred Muggs, who provided comedy relief for a time. Too bad it was before my time.
My earliest memory was during the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, and I happened to be watching one morning before going off to school. I haven't tuned in much since, especially now since I have a day job, and I wouldn't be interested in the 2nd half of the bloated four-hour marathon, anyway. I'd rather it go back to a 2 hour format, equal to its competitors, and lose the fluff.
No rating. As I said, I haven't watched it often enough to merit a rating.