Television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira will host The Great American Read, a previously announced eight-part TV series launching May 22 on PBS stations with a two-hour special event. Vieira will take viewers on a journey across the country to uncover the nation's 100 most-loved novels, the people who love them and their authors. As host of the series, she "will tie together the overarching themes of our national love of literature and guide viewers on a search to discover America's best-loved book," PBS said.
"It is a privilege to partner with PBS to bring The Great American Read to viewers across the country," said Vieira, who is known for co-hosting NBC News' Today and serving as moderator of ABC's The View. "The power of reading is extraordinary--it allows us to escape to new worlds, introduces us to a diverse range of people, opens our minds to different ideas, and allows us to keep learning no matter our age or background. The Great American Read offers a forum for readers to express what titles and stories they're passionate about and share how novels impacted their lives. I am honored to be a part of this discussion."
Bill Gardner, v-p of programming & development for PBS, commented: "We are thrilled to have Meredith join us on this national quest to discover 'America's Most-Loved Novel.' Meredith brings a unique warmth and journalistic sensitivities that make her the perfect host for our exploration of American culture and our shared experiences as reflected by our favorite books."
Jane Root, founder and CEO of production company Nutopia, which is partnering with PBS on the initiative, said: "As a fixture in American households for decades, Meredith's voice is the natural choice to guide the audience through this unique and multi-platform journey to find the most beloved novel. We are confident she has the ability to inspire viewers to read, vote and share their personal connections to the stories we explore in The Great American Read."
Viera is also writing the foreword to The Great American Read: The Book of Books (Black Dog & Leventhal, August), a fully illustrated companion book designed to amplify the on-air and online series content.