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Karl Stefanovic brings heart, laughs and depth to re-booted Today show

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Karl Stefanovic made his highly-anticipated return to the Today show on Saturday, and while most fans were happy to see him back, he still has his critics.

Over the past week, viewers have flocked to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to express their opinions about his return to Channel Nine’s breakfast show.

Most of the comments on Facebook slammed the 45-year-old for being ‘too political’, but viewers on Twitter and Instagram were generally much kinder.

The feedback coincides with Today jumping forward in the ratings over the past week as the once-embattled program begins to close the gap with rival breakfast show Sunrise.

Comeback kid: Karl Stefanovic (left) made his highly-anticipated return to the Today show on Saturday, and while most fans were happy to see him back, he still has his critics. Pictured with Allison Langdon (right)

Comeback kid: Karl Stefanovic (left) made his highly-anticipated return to the Today show on Saturday, and while most fans were happy to see him back, he still has his critics. Pictured with Allison Langdon (right)

After returning two days earlier than expected to host Today’s special coverage of the Australian bushfire crisis, some fans thought he was too critical of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

‘I am so disappointed that Karl is back on the Today Show, he is so rude when he is interviewing most people, especially the PM,’ fumed one Facebook user.

‘He is a has-been and they could have made a better choice. If Karl isn’t happy with what the PM is doing about the fires, well what would you do Karl.’

Talking point: Over the past week, viewers have flocked to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to express their opinions about Karl's return to Channel Nine's breakfast show

Talking point: Over the past week, viewers have flocked to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to express their opinions about Karl’s return to Channel Nine’s breakfast show 

Controversial: Most of the comments on Facebook (above) slammed the 45-year-old for being 'too political', but viewers on Twitter and Instagram were generally much kinder

Controversial: Most of the comments on Facebook (above) slammed the 45-year-old for being ‘too political’, but viewers on Twitter and Instagram were generally much kinder

Another Today show viewer referred to him as a ‘walking time bomb’, and argued that only former co-host Lisa Wilkinson, 60, was able to ‘contain him’.

‘Guess it won’t be long before Karl screws up again and then I will be back,’ the self-confessed lapsed viewer added. 

Others accused him of showing ‘his true colours’ to ‘boost ratings’, and thought he was trying to stir up controversy ‘to make himself noticed’. 

Criticism: Others accused him of showing 'his true colours' to 'boost ratings', and thought he was trying to stir up controversy 'to make himself noticed'

Criticism: Others accused him of showing ‘his true colours’ to ‘boost ratings’, and thought he was trying to stir up controversy ‘to make himself noticed’

One viewer accused him of ‘arrogance’, and said they would be switching channels. 

‘Disappointed to see Karl Stefanovic back. There are so many better and more deserving candidates,’ read a similar comment. 

Another person unfairly called him a ‘second rate journalist’. 

Supporters: But fans on Twitter (above) were much happier to see Karl back on breakfast television, with one person saying they had 'missed his humour'

Supporters: But fans on Twitter (above) were much happier to see Karl back on breakfast television, with one person saying they had ‘missed his humour’

‘I have been a loyal Today viewer for many years but after this morning’s outburst I switched to another breakfast show channel as I can no longer tolerate Mr Stefanovic’s attitude,’ added a self-described ‘disenchanted viewer’. 

But fans on Twitter were much happier to see Karl back on breakfast television, with one person saying they had ‘missed his humour’. 

‘Enjoying the show with @karlstefanovic back. He’s looking right back at home and has still got the great lines! Good fun,’ tweeted one viewer.

Fan club: Some viewers used the hashtag '#kingkarl', and complimented the veteran TV presenter on his chemistry with co-host Allison Langdon

Fan club: Some viewers used the hashtag ‘#kingkarl’, and complimented the veteran TV presenter on his chemistry with co-host Allison Langdon

'Enjoying watching again': Karl was praised on Twitter for his triumphant return to form

‘Enjoying watching again’: Karl was praised on Twitter for his triumphant return to form

‘Gosh I’m glad @karlstefanovic is back,’ wrote another fan, while a third added, ‘@karlstefanovic thank you for coming back.’

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Some viewers used the hashtag ‘#kingkarl’, and complimented the veteran TV presenter on his chemistry with co-host Allison Langdon, 40.

‘@karlstefanovic you are AWESOME! Ur cheekiness and humour was SO MISSED GLAD UR BACK ON the @TheTodayShow,’ tweeted one happy camper.   

Praise: Several viewers claimed Karl had made them fall in love with breakfast TV all over again

Praise: Several viewers claimed Karl had made them fall in love with breakfast TV all over again

‘I’ve gone back to watching morning tele [sic] now he’s back!! Yewww love ya @karlstefanovic #legend,’ echoed another Twitter user.

Fans were equally gushing on Instagram after it was announced that Karl would be returning to screens two days earlier than expected.   

‘Welcome back Karl and welcome Ally… Looking forward to your mornings,’ read one comment.

Another supporter added: ‘Delighted!!! Love these two. Karl is Most welcome!!!!!!!!! As is Ally’.

Bringing the laughs: Karl and Allison have brought more viewers to the Today show

Bringing the laughs: Karl and Allison have brought more viewers to the Today show

Better alternative: Several people said it was a smart move on Channel Nine's part to bring Karl back after last year's 'circus' with Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner at the helm

Better alternative: Several people said it was a smart move on Channel Nine’s part to bring Karl back after last year’s ‘circus’ with Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner at the helm

One fan described Karl as genuine and ‘good with people’, while another said they loved ‘his energy and passion’. 

Several people said it was a smart move on Channel Nine’s part to bring him back after last year’s ‘circus’ with Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner at the helm.

One particularly enthusiastic viewer even said they would be setting an alarm clock to watch Karl on Today from 5:30am.

He's worth waking up early for! One particularly enthusiastic viewer even said they would be setting an alarm clock to watch Karl on Today from 5:30am

He’s worth waking up early for! One particularly enthusiastic viewer even said they would be setting an alarm clock to watch Karl on Today from 5:30am

‘KARL’s back!!! I may not have the kids and can sleep in but setting the alarm as this man has been missed on morning TV!!!’ they commented. 

‘I stopped watching all morning TV and now I’m back for all his antics that makes us laugh and takes the stress out.’    

Another fan wrote: ‘About time you got it right Today show. This is the perfect couple to bring this show back to a gold. I love them both soooo much. I will now return and watch this show again. The king is back with his queen about time’.

Back in the game! According to OzTAM figures, Karl and Allison are keeping Sunrise on their toes, pulling in 220,000 metro viewers on Tuesday

Back in the game! According to OzTAM figures, Karl and Allison are keeping Sunrise on their toes, pulling in 220,000 metro viewers on Tuesday 

Meanwhile, Karl’s return to the Today show is already proving to be a ratings success, with viewership continuing to surge.

According to OzTAM figures, Karl and Allison are keeping Channel Seven rivals Sunrise on their toes, pulling in 220,000 metro viewers on Tuesday.

Sunrise still came out on top with a five-city an audience of 266,000, but the gap between both programs is beginning to close.

Until Karl and Allison took over, it wasn’t uncommon for Sunrise to beat Today by as much as 100,000 viewers – but those dark days now seem to be over. 

Closing the gap! Until Karl and Allison took over, it wasn't uncommon for Sunrise to beat Today by as much as 100,000 viewers - but those dark days now seem to be over. Pictured: Sunrise hosts Sam Armytage (left) and David Koch (right)

Closing the gap! Until Karl and Allison took over, it wasn’t uncommon for Sunrise to beat Today by as much as 100,000 viewers – but those dark days now seem to be over. Pictured: Sunrise hosts Sam Armytage (left) and David Koch (right)

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