Disgraced TV host Matt Lauer may be plotting his on-air return sooner than we thought.
While it has been a year since Lauer was fired from his long tenure on the TODAY Show after several misconduct allegations that rocked the NBC morning show, sources at Closer Weekly report that the journalist is planning his return with a new show, though it will not be associated to a network.
"He wants to host an investigative talk show, and he's hoping HBO will give him a shot," a source told the publication's affiliate, InTouch, adding how Lauer's longtime friend Bryant Gumbel is reportedly trying his best to help him with the new project.
"But he's the first to admit that his pal has an uphill battle ahead of him," the source adds. "Matt also knows he has to pay his dues. He's pretty much begging for a second chance."
The report comes a few months after Lauer himself said he was confident he would be back on television eventually.
"I've been busy being a dad. But don't worry, I'll be back on TV," the former anchor reportedly said to fans back in August.
He was speaking to a group of "older ladies," a source revealed, all of whom said they missed the veteran host.
Lauer was let go as co-host of NBC's TODAY Show last November following one former internal complaint, and several more allegations of sexual abuse. Months later, Lauer has been slowly returning to public life, making several appearances in New York area events.
Lauer's first wife, Nancy Alspaugh, recently told Entertainment Tonight she thought the former news anchor deserved a second chance.
"Matt has always been a support to his family and loved ones. He has done so much quietly to help others and to support important causes," she said. "He donated a tremendous amount to my autism charity, ACT Today.
"Many people don't know that through all his hard work, he has been able to give back and has made a difference in this world," Alspaugh added. "Matt never did this for the thanks and would like nothing more than to continue to give back to society."
NBC viewers remembered Lauer early on Thanksgiving day as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage was underway, seemingly forgetting the scandal.
"WATCHING MACYS PARADE WHERE IS MATT LAUER," another said.
"What float is Matt Lauer on?" another user wrote.
Lauer reportedly reached a $20 million divorce settlement with wife Annette Roque, agreeing to split custody of their three children, after 20 years of marriage.