NBC’s “Today” launched a new Peacock holiday special on Monday, and like everything else this year, traces of the coronavirus pandemic were everywhere from the production to the new “needs” of its audience.
Ahead of the premiere of “Holiday Steals & Deals,” host Jill Martin and senior executive producer Dana Haller talked to TheWrap about what viewers can expect from the holiday special on NBC’s streaming app.
“We shot the special in early October. It was a two-day shoot at Jill’s home, which was transformed into a winter wonderland,” Haller said. “COVID protocols are a top priority for any shoot our team is doing these days, and we made sure we followed all recommended safety measures for this project, including temperature checks, masks and social distancing on set.”
Haller recalled the crew shooting outside with “tents across the backyard,” and added that all the products on display in the two-hour show were prepared in a garage on site.
When picking products to highlight this year, Martin, a “Today” lifestyle contributor, decided to showcase “small businesses doing everything to keep their dreams afloat.”
Martin said she and her team focused on the audience’s needs for “new ways” to shop and to consume content. She acknowledged that “this holiday season is going to be tough on so many families,” but she hopes the new format of “Steals & Deals” — combining a talk show with a shopping special — will help them feel at home, even when just shopping in-app.
“We always want to be wherever our audiences are, whether that’s on the ‘Today’ broadcast, online or on streaming,” Martin said.
The “Holiday Steals & Deals” special is streaming now on Peacock and will be available for the next week. It features appearances from Martin’s family and “Today” stars like Al Roker and Dylan Dreyer, plus celebrity appearances by Tracy Morgan, Olivia Culpo and Kathie Lee Gifford.