Monday, July 31, 2017

Ann Curry returns to television

Ann Curry is back!

WE ALWAYS though that Ann Curry would return to television. She is just too good a journalist not draw interest from the networks and she has the stature to have the luxury to pick and choose.

PBS announced that the well-respected Asian/American journalist will return with a series next year called “We’ll Meet Again.”

The new project is a six-part series that reunites people who have been affected by real-life events, is her first project since leaving NBC to start her own media company.

Variety says the six-part program will feature reunions between people who have been affected by real-life events, like a Japanese/American woman who sought to find a classmate who helped her when she was a girl at the outbreak of World War II. After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese-American girl was bullied in school, but the classmate reached out to become friends with her. The girl and her family were interned during the war.

In an interview Friday (July 28), Curry said she quickly boarded the series after hearing its concept. “I had a sense of the potential depth of the stories,” she said. “What I wasn’t prepared for is how much things that happened so long ago could rise to the surface and be so powerful.”

Curry left NBC two years after her dramatic departure from Today, where she had been a long-time fixture before being unceremoniously ousted shortly after a promotion. Reportedly, the other co-host, Matt Lauer, didn't feel comfortable with the chemistry between the two. Shortly thereafter, Today's ratings plummeted and only just started to regain respectable numbers. 

At the time of exit, she may have been the most recognizable Asian/American (her mother is Japanese) in the U.S., broadcasting into people's living rooms daily.

Other stories will focus on those whose lives were impacted by the Vietnam War, 9/11, and the 1960s civil rights era, among other moments.

“This is history not the from point of view of people in charge. It is the point of view of people who have no control over these events and have to rise up to survive,” Curry said.

Curry said that the series comes at a good time, as it shows stories of empathy.

“We are in a time when people actually need to hear these stories of empathy,” she said. “We have forgotten some of this good stuff. What we find are the similarities, and they speak to the similarities in our human family.”

“I rarely watch television broadcast, unless there’s something really breaking, something that’s happening that’s really happening,” Curry said last week at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. 

Of the state of TV journalism, she said, “I think we are in sort of the best of times and the worst of times. There has been some stunningly exemplary cases of journalism across the board, and there’s also been the opposite material that some may call journalism, but maybe we shouldn’t.”

Since leaving the high-profile position on NBC, Curry told Variety, “I’m working on things that are meaningful more consistently.I can do stories that matter more consistently. My projects are national, international. I’m working on things that I think the world needs. And to be honest with you, I hope I don’t sound too self important in saying that. But I’m trying, put it that way, to do stories that I think are needed now. And that’s actually been lovely. It’s been lovely to be inspired and to be able to direct my energies into things that matter.”