Well, when you've been the No. 1 morning show for 852 consecutive weeks (or roughly since the Warren G. Harding administration) and suddenly you're not anymore, which has happened four times since April, someone has to walk the plank.
The thing is, they could have let Kotb sleep in. Even under these strained circumstances, there's no way Curry wouldn't report for work. She's entirely too dutiful.
Too bad. She would have been better at the job if she had a good deal more diva in her. It's that overwhelming people-pleasing quality that makes her rather excruciating to watch. And it's the reason NBC is offering her a variety of impressive-sounding new gigs in its news division to induce her to step down without a PR war.
Actually, Curry was doing just fine until a morning in 2008 when the Muppets took over Today. There were plush little likenesses of Matt and Meredith and Al and Ann, all being broadly satirized.
Except the portrait of Curry had a distinctly sharper edge, with her puppet in a Dean & Deluca, fatuously saying to all the other customers, "Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! Ann Curry!"
You could see the segment crushed the show's then-newsreader. She has never been the same on-air since, lacking confidence and authenticity. Curry is the first news anchor ever brought down by Muppets.
Now the conversation turns to who should replace her. Savannah Guthrie? Natalie Morales? Basically anyone but Kathie Lee. But as bizarre as it seems, that is precisely the direction in which Today should go.
NBC needs to realize that television has changed. Warm and fuzzy is out. Mean and bossy is in. These days we want attitude, not intelligence.
Think J Woww, Paris Hilton, NeNe Leakes, Teresa Giudice, Jenelle Evans, Big Ang, Vienna Girardi, and (yeah, I said it) Kate Gosselin. Wake up, America.
Double dipping. What is with all these hybrid commercials? I was oddly discomfited by that ad that wedged Coors cans and bottles into footage from Prometheus. What was this designed to do — make me want to drink on the way to the movies?
In the NBA finals, there was a spot that melded ripped-from-the-court highlights of the games with snippets from The Amazing Spider Man. Again, what's the message? Is Dwyane Wade a webslinger?
Tell me what to buy. Don't leave me guessing.
Rock and a hard place. Mary J. Blige performing in Central Park as part of Good Morning America's summer concert series. How could that go wrong?
How about we make the Queen of Hip Hop/Soul promote the awful film Rock of Ages by singing a truly dreadful song, one that completely clashes with her style? Say, Journey's bumptious "Any Way You Want It"? Debacle accomplished.
What's so funny? This week's pet peeve is ESPN correspondent Rachel Nichols. Whenever she reports in from a stadium, arena, or training camp, it's the same routine: a rehash of items we've already heard, salted with a news conference quote from a coach or player, capped off with what Nichols apparently thinks is a wonderful pun or play on words. Because she ends every single segment with the same smug cat-that-swallowed-the-canary grin.
You're the only one smiling, Rachel.
Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552, email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_tv. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.