In what was supposed to be a big fat plug for NBC, Meredith Vieira and Today, that network announced this morning that Valerie’s Story: A Meredith Vieira Special, will premiere Thursday. Harper will be a guest on NBC’s Today that morning. Valerie Harper Week actually begins tonight with her debut on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. NBC’s Harper special is airing at 10 PM Thursday, so as to enjoy that huge lead-in audience watching the finale of Million Second Quiz right earlier in primetime that night. Oh — nevermind. On her Today appearance that morning, we presumably will learn whatever shred of information Harper did not already divulge over at ABC when that network announced she had been declared well enough to compete on Dancing this fall.
Harper, 74, had previously battled lung cancer and, this past March, announced she’d been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare, terminal cancer and given 3-6 months to live. When ABC named her to the new cast of Dancing, on Good Moring America, and a few days later on ABC’s The View, Harper explained doctors had told her she was “close to remission” and therefore well enough for the rigorous competition. NBC, however, stuck to its guns and insisted it had the remission news first, on Today.