By Wayne Harada
NBC’s “Today” show, taping its Monday May 20 program live from the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, will make history of sorts.
The live feed will air as it happens, from 1 to 3 a.m., while most of Hawaii will be in darkness and asleep, to coincide with the East Coast time frame. Then from 7 a.m., the program will repeat via satellite-delay, as it usually does on Hawaii News Now (KHNL/KGMB).
Hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist will be on hand for the Hawaii show; meteorologist Al Roker has had to return home to tend to weather issues on the Mainland.
This is not the first time the Peacock Network has aimed its camera on Island life. The first time was in the Bryant Gumbel/Katie Couric era, when the NBC team landed on the shores of Waikiki at the very same Royal Hawaiian, also known as the Pink Palace, the iconic luxury hotel in the Starwood franchise.
In the first go, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and the Makaha Sons were among the Hawaii guest stars.
This time, the local celebs will include ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and pop/folk music wizard Jack Johnson.
As usual, there will be visits with local chefs and restaurants and fun-in-the-sun segments involving surfing.
The public may gather and observe the wee-hour filming from the beach vantage point; only hotel guests who are able to stay awake will be allowed on the shore side of the beachfront barriers.
Producers have been in the islands the past week to stage, tape and complete pre-recorded segments during the daytime that will air during the live primetime.