It’s been six months since 3rd Hour of Today co-hosts Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, Dylan Dreyer and Al Roker launched the newest leg of the Today Show franchise. But for the four news anchor veterans, it seems like no time passed.
“If the Today Show and a talk show had a baby it would be us,” Roker, famed Today weather anchor, tells PEOPLE of the 3rd Hour series.
“I think that’s true. Especially when you think about where it comes in the morning – its almost in the middle before you get to the talk shows and in the middle of the newscast – it’s kind of a merge of both,” Jones, co-anchor of Weekend Today adds. “The beautiful thing about is that it’s authentic. It’s friends sitting around the table and people say on social media that they feel like them with their friends just having a conversation.”
Roker then politely disagrees with Jones’ “friends” comment and says, “It’s not friends. It’s family.”
He continues, “We bust each other. We love each other, we support each other but most importantly – these three people I literally trust my professional and my personal life too everyday.”
Dylan Dreyer, who takes Roker’s place as weather anchor on Weekend Today and also serves as meteorologist for NBC News agreed that the foursome’s on-screen dynamic is what sets the 3rd Hour apart from the rest of of it’s morning show competitors.
“Right off the the bat it’s pretty evident the relationship that we have,” Dreyer says of her co-hosts. “I don’t know if it’s a brother sister but we’re immediately ragging on each other, we know what each others going to say before they say it – it’s just a happy place.”
She continues, “I think chemistry goes a long way and you can’t fake it and you can’t force it. It’s just something we found.”
And it’s the chemistry of the four co-hosts that has contributed to the success of the morning show as the 3rd Hour viewership rises and the ratings continue to grow.
“Every morning, I get to use all parts of my brain. I feel I have the best job in television right now. I get to hang out with the two sisters I didn’t know I wanted and I get to spend time with my wacky uncle,” Craig Melvin, news anchor on Today and MSNBC, jokes before saying he was “blessed” to have such coveted NBC roles.
“I’ve been a part of arrange television marriages and you have to work at it everyday,” he admits. “But here – it’s never that.”
All four of the NBC news personalities have worked and collaborated together at different times, but coming together for the 3rd Hour show brought a special dynamic that is hard to find on any other morning show.
“What you see at home or what you see on Instagram – it’s the same person you’re going to get at the table,” Jones says of co-host’s personalities.
And with real conversations come real-life topics. The 3rd Hour of Today provides viewers with trending topics and news, but also delivers personal and relatable segments.
“We get to pitch out passions,” Dreyer says before opening up about what inspired her to share her struggle with fertility on the morning show.
“To me, being able to talk about things that I am going through are important because that’s what makes me and makes me relatable to people,” she said referring to herself as an “open book” but admitted that she debated opening up about her fertility struggles on camera already having a son. “I didn’t know if secondary infertility was something worth talking about. And it ended up being this topic that women were waiting to talk about.”
She continues, “When I say I got thousands and thousands and thousands of comments on social media and emails – just saying thank you – I think that showcases the platform that we have. Being honest and open and telling it like it is really resonates with people.”
Similarity to Dreyer, Roker also got personal and shared with 3rd Hour viewers that his son, Nick, trained and competed in Special Olympics New York where he took home two gold medals for swimming in the Summer Games.
“When I started in this business – you didn’t talk a lot about yourself if you weren’t the story. And my kids are a little older so I had to get Nick’s permission this year. But I think it helps other people to know that we deal with the same stuff that everyone one does,” he explains.
Whether personal or funny, the chemistry between the four co-hosts extends from beyond the Today table to the everyday grooves of real life. When the set lights go off, the morning show crew continues to spend time with each other off camera.
“I see Dylan more than I see my husband,” Jones says of her co-host with Dreyer attributing their close relationship to their shared set dressing room.
“It’s true. We share a dressing room, so we’re very close,” she adds.
“We spend a lot of time together,” Craig chimes in before the 37-year-old, Weekend Today weather anchor mentioned the crew’s frequent visits to Roker’s New York City pad.
“We’ve been inviting ourselves to Al’s house for a long time – his apartment in the city,” Dryer clarified noting that she, Jones and Melvin had not yet been invited to the host’s house in upstate New York.
“But one day when we get invited to the pearly gates then we’ll know we’ve made it,” Jones jokes before saying she was “disappointed” to hear that the weatherman’s coveted estate did not include a golden gate with his initials on it.
“There’s a laser mounted outside,” Roker quips back.
“Sheinelle and I can share a room,” Dreyer adds.
“I don’t think we should wait to be invited,” Melvin states while Jones jokingly suggested that a new segment for the show should feature the three co-host crashing the 64-year-old’s upstate home.
“I think you actually will be invited,” Roker assures his co-hosts. “It’s just a matter of finding the right weekend.”
3rd Hour of Today airs weekdays at 9 a.m.
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