"Wilkos" moving to WCIU?

NBC Universal’s The Steve Wilkos Show has been renewed for a third season according to officials at the syndicator, with 70 percent of the country on board.

According to this article in TV Week, Wilkos has cleared Tribune stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia – but in Chicago, the article cites a renewal for the “Weigel’s station in Chicago”, which is identified as WCIU-TV.

The program is still currently airing on Tribune’s WGN-TV at 2 p.m. , where it has aired for the last two seasons.

WGN may have dropped the show to make room for Bishop T.D. Jakes’ new talk show, which all Tribune stations acquired. However, its’ debut has been pushed back to September 2010 due to current economic conditions. There is no word on what will take Wilkos’ time slot on WGN in the meantime.

As for WCIU, this is the second syndicated talk show pickup it has made in recent weeks – it recently – or was close to – acquiring Marie from Program Partners, which features Marie Osmond. The last time WCIU had aired a daytime talk show on its schedule was The Montel Williams Show in 2006.

Meanwhile, Sinclair has renewed Wilkos on its stations in Pittsburgh, Columbus (Ohio), and Baltimore, with WLVI-TV in Boston and WESH-TV in Orlando on board.

Wilkos’ pickup coincides with the renewal of two other NBC Universal talk shows – Maury and Jerry Springer, all on board until 2010, including Tribune stations (with WGN the notable exception on Springer and Wilkos.)

Wilkos is only two daytime talk show showing year-to-year increases in household ratings, with the program recently hitting a series-high 1.2 rating. (Ellen is the other show showing year-to-year growth.)

Thought: Interesting NBC Universal renewed its trio of talk shows – Maury, Jerry Springer, and Wilkos – but has yet to renew its higher-rated rookie strip Deal or No Deal. Is there something going on behind the scenes with NBC Universal, Endemol, and stations carrying the show we don’t know about?

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