"Access: Hollywood" coming to you live!

Get ready, one of syndication’s top-rated prime access magazine shows is getting ready to coming at you live!

NBC Universal Television Distribution has announced it is launching Access: Hollywood Live, an one-hour daytime “brand extension” of its prime-access magazine show on six NBC O&O stations, including WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

The other five markets are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Hartford/New Haven.

The new hour is a mix of entertainment news and banter with guests, all coming to you live from Los Angeles.

The move fills the last hour vacated by the recent departure of three first-run syndicated series. Two of those spots have already been filled by Sony’s Nate Berkus Show and NBCU’s The Real Housewives for airing this fall.

If Access: Hollywood Live works on these six NBC-owned stations, the program could be rolled out on other stations across the country.

Currently, Access: Hollywood is ranked fourth among newsmagazines in the key women 25-54 demographic. The program is currently in its fourteenth season and has been through five syndicator changes along the way.

This “brand extension” of a first-run syndicated series isn’t new – over the years, syndicators have tried to extend the brand name of a television show and extend it into other dayparts (pure spin-offs, like Dr. Phil deriving from The Oprah Winfrey Show, do not count in this particular case.)

During the 1989-90 season, Warner Bros. launched a weekly young-adult version of its hit kids game show strip Fun House. Titled College Mad House, it pitted colleges against one another and was hosted by Greg Kinnear.

During the summer of 1984, Paramount tested a daily strip version of its weekly music series Solid Gold titled Solid Gold Hits, hosted by Grant Goodeve. Ratings were poor however, and thus wasn’t renewed.

Baywatch spun-off Baywatch Nights, which lasted two seasons from 1995 to 1997.

There have also been brand extensions of several game shows targeted to children (to meet FCC educational requirements, basically.) The Hollywood Squares (Storybook Squares, which ran before educational mandates were put in place) Wheel of Fortune (Wheel of Fortune 2000), and American Gladiators (Gladiators 2000) all had kid-friendly versions. Another game show (Jeopardy!) spun-off Rock n’ Roll Jeopardy!, hosted by Jeff Probst.

updated 12:41 a.m. on 2010-03-03