Maria Shriver was a smash hit on the "Today" show Monday and sources say NBC honchos are talking about a more permanent deal ... but we're told something big is standing in the way ... MONEY.
Maria -- who was a fixture at NBC for a long time and hosted "Dateline" -- has been courted by the network for years ... especially when hubby Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of CA.
The former first lady of CA -- who reported from the Vatican -- has turned down the overtures of NBC as well as other networks. Sources say several networks and cable stations have approached her to do a talk show and she turned them down flat.
Maria, sources say, doesn't want a daily gig because she just doesn't want to work that hard. She's deep into charity work and also raising her kids, and she's just not that into it.
But here's the real deal breaker ... Maria is loaded. Her reported worth is north of $100 mil and that could increase by as much as $200 mil when her divorce is final. We're told the networks have offered her money at various times and for most people it would be a huge deal -- for Maria ... sources say it's not gonna change her life and isn't nearly enough to make her sign a contract.