Jenna Bush Hager is officially returning to the Today show from maternity leave on Nov. 11, she and co-host Hoda Kotb announced Thursday. The big reveal came during a surprise appearance from Bush Hager during the Today show's Halloween extravaganza.
"We have a big announcement on this program," Kotb said during Today With Hoda and Jenna. "We rarely break new here. We rarely do, but this is called home cookin' good news."
After a drumroll, Kotb said, "We're letting you know that Miss Jenna is coming back November 11th."
"I can't wait," Bush Hager said, revealing that she and Kotb have only actually hosted their segment together for a week total, due to maternity leaves for both women.
"This is the thing," Bush Hager said. "We started the Hoda and Jenna Show-"
"Without Hoda, and then we completed it without Jenna!" Kotb chimed in.
"This is gonna be like a whole new start," Bush Hager said.
Kotb agreed and explained what it was like waiting for Bush Hager to come back.
"I can't wait til you come back. I kept asking — I don't know how you felt when I was gone — but I do remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, time flies by,'" Kotb said. "People kept asking on my book tour, like, 'Are y'all gonna get together and sit down?'"
Today co-anchor Willie Geist — who dressed for Halloween as Johnny to Bush Hager's Baby from Dirty Dancing — asked how long had "officially done the show" together.
"One week," the women answered in unison. "Five times," Bush Hager said."
"This is the real launch, I feel like," Geist said.
Kotb also alluded to "a lot of announcements about our program that are gonna be exciting and new."
Bush Hager announced her last day before maternity leave from the Today show in August and gave birth to her and husband Henry Hager's third child, a son named Henry Harold "Hal" Hager, just days later. She had previously announced her pregnancy news on the air in April, just days after Kotb announced she had adopted a second daughter, Hope Catherine.0comments
Kotb returned from her own maternity leave in September after taking leave in April, which allowed for only five episodes of Today with Hoda and Jenna where the co-hosts actually hosted together.
Bush Hager was named as Kotb's new co-host for the fourth hour of the Today show in February, taking over after the departure of longtime host Kathie Lee Gifford in April.