Who Gets Credit for ‘Today’ Show’s 15-year Win Streak?

By Chris Ariens 

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It’s a major TV milestone, that will be celebrated in a low-key way.

Today NBC’s “Today” show celebrates 15 years as the nation’s #1 morning show. Look for a promo to air Monday during the show which will thank viewers for sticking with the program all these years.

So who gets the credit for the winning streak? If you ask EP Jim Bell it goes beyond the names you know.

“It takes a lot of people to put this show on the air every single day,” Bell tells TVNewser. “The bold-face names get a lot of the accolades, and they deserve enormous credit. But the anchors would be the first ones to say that the foundation of the show’s success is behind the camera, with the best producers and technical crew in television.”

The streak began the week of Dec. 11, 1995 when Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric sat in the anchor chairs. The show has had very few on air changes since: Gumbel left in 1997, replaced by Matt Lauer; and Couric left for CBS in 2006, replaced by Meredith Vieira. Al Roker joined the show in 1996 and Ann Curry took over for Lauer at the newsdesk in 1997.

The show has had only a few executive producers during the winning streak as well — including NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker and “Piers Morgan Tonight” EP Jonathan Wald. Bell has overseen the show since 2005.

“Bryant, Matt, Katie and Meredith are incredible journalists and broadcasters,” says Bell,  “but on this show, it’s all about the team.”

Another milestone is right around the corner. On January 14, the show celebrates 59 years on the air.