Yahoo Inc. brought out luminaries like Tom Hanks, Anthony Zuiker, ABC News president Ben Sherwood, MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman, actor/writer/producer Ken Marino, and Top Chef Fabio Vivani as part of the company’s Digital Content NewFront event to impress advertisers with its roster of new and original programming.

As one of the highlights, Yahoo confirmed that Katie’s Take, an online-only show featuring household name Katie Couric (pictured), will premiere on May 1. The magazine program will be Couric’s “personal, fun and unique perspective” on topics and issues important to everyday life – like health, nutrition and parenting – combined with interviews with relevant experts. Poland Spring Natural Spring Water is the exclusive launch sponsor of this series, which will get its own dedicated page.

Another show Yahoo showcased is a comedy of growing up in a small town, anchored by classic pop songs from the ‘80s, created by Matthew Weaver and Chris D’Arienzo (Rock of Ages). The program’s working title is Dancing with Myself and it is produced by Weaver and RelativityREAL.

Lest advertisers think men were left out, Yahoo also presented a slate of six programs including an as-yet unnamed talk show in development with Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park movies, Independence Day, Law and Order: Criminal Intent), who will soon be heard in the animated avian comedy Zambezia. Yahoo also announced Stunt Nation, hosted by Sal Masekela, a fun-with-demolition program KaBOOM, and the daily show The MANual, “the ultimate guide to rising above masculine mediocrity.”

Couric’s show was born from the existing partnership between ABC News and Yahoo News, which also is responsible for Yahoo’s suite of programs that cover the 2012 election from different angles. One is Remake America, a weekly docu-series that follows the socioeconomic lives of six families, and another is Power Players, a daily political series produced in conjunction with ABC News, featuring George Stephanopoulos, Jake Tapper, Jonathan Karl, John Berman, Amy Walter, Rick Klein, and Yahoo’s Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian.

These and other programs announced at Yahoo’s Digital Content NewFront are in addition to Yahoo’s existing portfolio, which includes 15 original video production partners and over 40 original series, totaling more than 300 original episodes per month.

“The media and advertising industries are at a watershed moment, and no one is more poised to take advantage of the shift toward digital content than Yahoo. Globally, we are a digital media powerhouse, providing high-quality, engaging & personalized content on every screen,” said Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo executive vice president and head of Global Media. “We’re partnering with industry leaders and top Hollywood talent, creating unique, premium experiences for distinct audiences around the world. By doing so, we create a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to connect with highly engaged and targeted audiences. We provide the content experiences that consumers want and the context that advertisers desire.”

Related links:

Yahoo – press release

Yahoo – Yahoo Screen Originals

Photo of Katie Couric by Flickr user David Shankbone, used under Creative Commons license