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Meredith Vieira Leaves 'Today' Show (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 06/08/11 09:24 AM ET   Updated: 08/08/11 06:12 AM ET

Meredith Vieira bid farewell to the "Today" show on Wednesday, after nearly five years as the co-host of the top rated morning show on television.

Vieira announced in May that she was stepping down to spend more time with her family. Ann Curry, the show's longtime newsreader, is replacing her immediately; she will start her tenure on Thursday.

As is its custom on these occasions, "Today" gave Vieira a lavish, extended, epic farewell bash on her last day. From the copious tributes to the live music video creation (seriously!) to the many tears that were shed, it was the kind of unabashedly hokey-but-moving thing the "Today" show has down pat. Let's see the many, many, many ways the show said goodbye, shall we?

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The morning began with Bruno Mars and a gauzy series of shots of Vieira. As she opened the show for the last time, Vieira said, "I know it's right, but it's hard."
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