Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that two Sony-distributed courtroom strips (Judge David Young and Judge Karen) are expected to be canceled soon. Young will exit after two seasons and Karen after only one. The possible moves come as the tough economy has taken a toll on the first-run syndication business, as ratings and revenue coming in are very low for many daytime shows currently on the air.
Young airs on WFLD-TV locally at 1 p.m. and Karen airs at 2 p.m. on WCIU, where it has often finished second in its time period, beating syndicated talk shows hosted by Rachael Ray and Bonnie Hunt.
The moves come as the courtroom genre has been overcrowded for years (with more than ten shows), and the shakeout has now only begun. And the genre is also a tougher sell to advertisers – especially for some of the more lower-rated programs, compared to more ad-friendly talk shows such as Oprah and Regis & Kelly, and even Martha Stewart’s talk show – which despite low ratings – was recently renewed for another season.
Two more freshmen strips (Program Partners’ Family Court and Debmar-Mecury’s Trivial Pursuit) are expected to leave stations’ schedules as well come September.
Also, Merv Griffin’s Crosswords, which went on production hiatus last summer and was expected to return with new episodes this calendar year, now may not return at all. Many stations that carried the strip from Program Partners last season dropped the show at the start of the 2008-09 season.
Earlier this week, Twentieth Television pulled the plug on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.
Updated at 11:00 p.m.