By Deborah Netburn, Patrick Day and Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers NBC recently announced that Kathie Lee Gifford would be returning to morning television as the co-host of the fourth (!) hour of the Today
show, joining current host Hoda Kotb in the 7-month-old spot. The Gifford hire is just the latest twist in the ongoing narrative of the Today show, which is the most successful and long-running of the morning shows. Almost from its inception in 1952, the show created news around itself even as it covered the news (some of it serious, some of it incredibly light). In case you havent had time to follow the complete Today story, heres our SparkNotes version of the highlights.