There is a big change coming to the lighthearted fourth hour of the Today Show hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. Beginning in February, the Thursday and Friday episodes of the show will be filmed in front of a live audience. Thus, instead of having to stand out in the elements and look through the window, fans will actually get to be a part of the show, according to Variety.
This new version of the show will be called Hoda & Jenna & Friends and it will maintain the same themes and segments the show currently has, but it will involve more interaction with fans. This is something that both of the hosts are particularly eager for as they think it will allow them to better gauge what their audience enjoys and what kind of content they should cover more or less of.
Joanne LaMarca, the executive producer of the show, gave some insight into the reasoning behind this shift.
“The ladies having an audience will make them better at what they do. There’s a certain energy when you perform on stage, when you have people react to what you are doing. I think that the audience is really going to change things up and I can’t wait for Hoda and Jenna to get to meet the best friends they don’t know they have.”
Hager and Kotb haven’t been hosting the fourth hour together for very long. Hager replaced Kotb’s former co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, last year. Considering the fact that both Hager and Kotb welcomed new additions to their family in the past year, they both spent significant time away from the show. This doesn’t seem to affect their on-air chemistry, which makes the show such a success.
The ratings for this particular hour of the Today Show went up exponentially following Hager being named the new co-host. She guest-hosted the hour well before she came on full time, so it was already evident that she and Kotb could work well together. Fans also pushed for her being named the new co-host.
Even though the daily news isn’t always very positive, the fourth hour is meant to be a break from it all.
“We want to make it light and make it fun, but there’s a lot of heart and soul on the table every day, and a lot of vulnerability,” Kotb said of their intention behind the show.
Kotb and Hager do try to not hold anything back from their viewers and even recently weighed themselves on air, as The Inquisitr previously reported.