The Next Oprah? Katie Couric Officially Onboard for New ABC Syndicated Talk Show

The Next Oprah? Katie Couric Officially Onboard for New ABC Syndicated Talk Show She's been on NBC, CBS, and if this ABC thing doesn't work out, Katie Couric will have no place left to go.

That's right, the television industry's worst-kept secret is true - Katie Couric will host a new syndicated talk show on ABC. She'll also maintain a "news presence" on the network, contributing to coverage of special events beginning this summer.

"I'm very happy to be returning to the network where I began my career as a desk assistant in 1979," Couric said in a statement, "It is tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show with [Disney/ABC Television Group President] Anne Sweeney and [show producer] Jeff [Zucker] and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division."

Couric was courted by all three networks, but sources cited disorganization at NBC, a hesitance to replace "Judge Judy" at CBS, and a general sense that the show is a risky financial bet any way you slice it.

It's still not known, exactly, how ABC will be able to turn this into a profit - the production budget of the show alone could easily run up to $50 million without factoring in marketing, and Couric's venture as the host of "CBS Evening News" was never a ratings success.

Though it saw a surge in her first couple of weeks at the job, which ABC can certainly expect here, Couric's news program settled firmly into the third-place slot "CBS Evening News" has long enjoyed amongst nightly network news programs.

Not much is known about exactly what format the currently-untitled show will take when it premieres in September 2012, but ABC is hoping affiliates will carry it in the 3pm slot, indicating a daytime talk show format in the vein of "Oprah" or "Ellen." Couric will own the show outright, making it a potentially lucrative deal for her should it take off.