Karin McCay goes behind the scenes of the Today Show - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Karin McCay goes behind the scenes of the Today Show

NEW YORK CITY (KCBD) - "Texas Tech Red Raiders! Lubbock, Texas!" says one woman in the Today Show's live audience.

What a great way to start the day in New York - to see folks from home in the crowd of people and talent on the plaza of the Today Show. 

They might have been here to see Daughtry in concert, or maybe to see the Today Show bride; a Lubbock girl & Texas Tech graduate who's getting married Wednesday on the Today Show. "I'm cheering for him," says Leigh in reference to the concert, "and of course I see Lubbock.  It catches my eye."  

Leigh and Nick weren't in the same place for long Tuesday morning. Moving from one building to another, NBC and the Today Show crew cover a lot of territory. 

All the ideas for the Today Show come together in the news room. There are about 50 producers in the room where Nick and Leigh were talking to their producer about their agenda on the day before the wedding. "Anyone can pick up the bible tomorrow and know what's going on," says the producer. The bible?  "Yeah," she answers.  "We call it the wedding bible." 

Meanwhile, the four hour Today Show was in progress while we were there. "What's crisis situation for you in the control room?" we asked Today Show Executive Producer Jim Bell.  He answered, "When there's nothing happening. That's a problem. When there's a lot of chaos, that's fun. That's the best part."

The control room was packed with people and a billboard of screens ready to take live remotes from anywhere in the world, not to mention all the sets crammed into tight spaces inside this studio and outside in the plaza. There are about eight different sets in all, and it's up and down many flights of stairs, on a moment's notice, every day for this four-hour show. 

Mom (Jan) and step-dad (Bruce) and about 15 other people gather for an interview of Leigh and Nick on the kitchen set. "You're from Lubbock, Texas?" Ann Curry asks Leigh.  "And you've got Martina McBride singing."  Curry then asks Nick "Is that working for you?" Nick answers, "That's awesome." 

The energy never slows on this show - from the guy in the back giving orders to the all the on-air talent coming together to wrap up the segment.  But Ann stayed to wish the couple well. "Gimme a big hug," Ann says to Leigh. Then she hugs Nick and says "Yeah, it's gonna be a great wedding."

Then it was off to another interview and onto another floor. Anybody who goes to the Today Show sees a lot of steps because it takes hundreds of them to get where you're going if you need to get there fast. "We have an elevator," says Matt Lauer.  "But it's the world's slowest elevator. We have four flights of stairs and I'm probably up and down it 20 times a day. It's the best exercise possible." 

We even saw actor David Arquette sprinting up the stairs. And Natalie Morales is pretty fast too, especially considering her four inch heels. "We get used to going up and down the stairs in heels," Natalie says. "You see we have lots of stairs." 

They may get used to the stairs, but what they don't get used to is a wedding. "Did I hear you say it makes you cry?" we ask a member of the production crew.  "Yes it does," she answers.  "Every time."

"Leigh and Nick from the very beginning, just their genuineness, their love for each other, it's really shown through," says Natalie. 

"Do you still tear up when they walk down the aisle?" we ask Ann Curry.  "Oh absolutely," she answers. "Love is love.  I love love."

 "At some moment during the ceremony, it hits me," says Matt Lauer.  "And it has every single year."

The Today Show has taken care of every detail to make sure this wedding is special.  And in this last interview for Today it seems there might be one more person in tears Wednesday. "I know you're gonna look beautiful tomorrow," Nick says to Leigh.  "You're always beautiful, but you're gonna be amazingly beautiful tomorrow. I might break down."  Leigh laughs and replies, "I hope so - that would be cool."

You can see Leigh and Nick's wedding Wednesdy morning on the Today show right here on NewsChannel 11.

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