09/10/2012 05:33 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2012

'Katie,' Katie Couric's Talk Show, Debuts With A Matt Lauer Surprise (VIDEO)

After over a year of buildup, Katie Couric's daytime talk show, "Katie," finally launched on Monday.

It was the culmination of a very, very long gestation process. Ever since Couric announced in May of 2011 that she would leave CBS News and enter the daytime world, there has been rampant speculation about what the show would look like -- and, more importantly, how many people would watch it.

The premiere episode of "Katie" started with a bit of a surprise. Couric was filmed lying in bed, thoughts of her career since leaving "Today" swirling in her head. She "woke up," wondering if it had all been a dream, only to find Matt Lauer lying in the bed next to hers and telling her it was definitely real life.

From there, "Katie" became a fairly standard talk show, with its eye trained firmly on celebrity. Couric told her audience that the new venture was "both exciting and terrifying" for her. She spoke to Jessica Simpson about her weight loss, and to Sheryl Crow about her brain tumor and her thoughts on the trials of ex Lance Armstrong. Upcoming guests include Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum and Barbra Streisand.

At the end of the show, Couric joked, "They say you always remember your first time," and promised her audience, "I think I'll stick around." She is in a formidable position to do so, but she is entering one of the most crowded daytime markets in memory. The competition will be fierce.



Katie Couric Around Town