Ending a Week of Going To the “Ends of the Earth”

By SteveK 

It was a typical morning at the Today show — atypical.

The teen stars of the new movie, “Twilight,” were there, CNBC’s Jim Cramer talked about the market lows, Dr. Nancy Snyderman talked about the rise in doulas and Tony Bennett performed with a 12-man band.

But the big topic when TVNewser arrived this morning was the culmination of this year’s “Ends of the Earth.” Matt Lauer was back from Belize, Meredith Vieira returned from down under and Al Roker was fully defrosted from two days in Iceland.

But one member of America’s first family was still on her end of the earth. Ann Curry and her team made the decision last night to descend from their Mount Kilimanjaro climb without making it to the summit.

“They were hurting,” said EP Jim Bell. Altitude sickness.

Earlier this week, all four anchors were live from their locations and were able to interact. “How they all got to talk to each other shocked me,” said Bell who credited both the anchors and tech teams for making it happen.

And even before 2008’s global green trek ends, Bell tells TVNewser they’ll do it all again in ’09. “I’m already starting to think about next year,” Bell told us in the control room, as Curry ended her live shot.

Upstairs from Studio 1A, Lester Holt was preparing for his next news segment…and studying Italian flashcards. He’s taking classes twice a week.

We crossed the hall and chatted with Roker about why “adventure girl” Curry seems to get the longest “Ends of the Earth” assignments. He’s also baffled by the whole “‘Twilight’ thing.”

Click continued to see Vieira’s interview with Cramer, from inside the studio…