Meredith Vieira Returns to TV With New PBS Series

By Chris Ariens 

Meredith Vieira is joining another Today show alum, Ann Curry, in hosting a new show for PBS.

Vieira will host The Great American Read, an 8-part series, launching May 22. PBS says the show “will take viewers on a journey across the country to uncover the nation’s 100 most-loved novels, the people who love them and their authors.” But it also comes with a summer-long series of events on air, online and in-person, all about reading.

“The power of reading is extraordinary,” said Vieira. “It allows us to escape to new worlds, introduces us to a diverse range of people, opens our minds to different ideas, and allows us to keep learning no matter our age or background. The Great American Read offers a forum for readers to express what titles and stories they’re passionate about and share how novels impacted their lives. I am honored to be a part of this discussion.”


Authors, celebrities and sports figures, including Margaret Atwood, Morgan Freeman, Gayle King, George R. R. Martin, Shaquille O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Ming-Na Wen, will participate in the series.

“Meredith brings a unique warmth and journalistic sensitivities that make her the perfect host for our exploration of American culture and our shared experiences as reflected by our favorite books,” said Bill Gardner, VP of Programming & Development for PBS.

The series culminates Oct. 23 with the reveal of America’s Best-Loved Novel. There will also be, naturally, a fully illustrated companion book, The Great American Read: The Book of Books.

Vieira’s former NBC News colleague Ann Curry, hosts We’ll Meet Again, which wrapped up its first 6-part season in February.