Monday will be a busy time around Knoxville for celebrity gawkers.
It will all start Monday morning when Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb host their fourth hour of "Today" live from The Hill at the University of Tennessee.
The university won "Kathie Lee and Hoda College Challenge" by gathering enough online votes asking for Gifford and Kotb to bring their show to the school.
Around 150,000 votes were cast for UT.
Other schools in the running were Syracuse University, Ohio State University, Brandeis University, University of South Florida and Creighton University.
By deadline, no other details were forthcoming on exactly what segments are planned or if "Today" will bring along any celebrity guests.
"Today" is planning to do a makeover segment involving sorority housing and dorm rooms.
Teetotalers need not worry: Though Gifford and Kotb are known for taking sips of wine on the air, they'll have to do this Knoxville visit sober. UT is a dry campus.
Even for Gifford and Kotb.
UT senior Laura Brooks was behind a drive to get online voting tipped in UT's favor. When "Today" announced it was looking for colleges, Brooks took to social media and got her sisters in Delta Delta Delta to support the cause.
She says she tweeted 1,200 times in two weeks in an effort to get "Today" to UT.
"It has blown up Twitter," she says. "I never thought people would have gotten as involved in this as we have."
After the "Today" broadcast is finished, another star event will happen across town at Turkey Creek.
Actor Kevin James ("The King of Queens") will be the center of attention at the 2012 Variety — The Children's Charity of Eastern Tennessee benefit.
Proceeds from the benefit are earmarked for local programs that help children. Over the years the annual event, which helps various programs and projects for children across the region, has generated more than $5 million in East Tennessee.
At press deadline, tickets are $50 and on sale at the Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 & IMAX in Turkey Creek.
Other celebrities who have headlined similar benefits for Variety include Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, Hugh Jackman and "Twilight" stars Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart.
Each star who has done the benefit has also promoted their upcoming films. James will be promoting "Here Comes The Boom," a comedy about a teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter in order to raise money for his struggling high school.
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!