03/18/2013 11:57 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2013

Maria Shriver 'Today' Appearance: Former NBC Reporter Joins Network's Papal Coverage

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Maria Shriver made a surprise appearance on Monday reporting for the network that used to employ her.

Shriver, who co-anchored the weekend edition of the "Today" show when it first launched, returned to the show to contribute to the network's papal coverage. She appeared live from the Vatican and introduced a story on the new pope's name during the 7:00 a.m. hour.

The weekend edition of the "Today" show launched as "Sunday Today" on September 20, 1987. Shriver co-hosted with Boyd Matson. Shriver went on to be a network correspondent, appearing on Dateline. She left the network temporarily when her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor of California, and fully left after he was elected.

It's unclear if Shriver will rejoin the network in some capacity. An NBC spokesperson told the New York Times that Shriver "is participating in NBC News’s coverage of Pope Francis in Rome."

The "Today" show has been taking a beating in the press recently as reports surfaced that co-host Matt Lauer's popularity seriously declined after the network ousted former co-host Ann Curry.



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