And other syndication news of note
With NATPE looming around the corner, activity in the first-run syndication business for 2013 has certainly picked up. Here’s the latest:
-As reported by Broadcasting & Cable Tuesday, Debmar-Mercury pulled the plug on first-run syndicated talker “conflict” talker The Jeremy Kyle Show after two low-rated seasons. Kyle, a British personality who does a similar show for Great Britain’s ITV, never was able to translate his overseas popularity into strong American viewership. Despite Debmar-Mercury’s glowing exit comments on Kyle (have you ever read such BS?), the show’s conflict format did not mesh with other programming on some of Fox’s owned-and-operated stations (including WFLD and WPWR here.)
The program in its second season averaged a 0.5 household live same day rating. Debmar-Mercury’s other show with the Fox stations (Wendy Williams) is renewed through 2014. Jeremy Kyle’s talk show is the second sophomore series to get the ax; Anderson Cooper’s show was canceled a few weeks ago.
– And this comes as Warner Bros.’ new TMZ Live is being expanded to all seventeen Fox owned-and-operated stations beginning next fall. So far, the series is airing in a handful of Fox O&O markets, including WFLD in Chicago, where it airs at 2 p.m. In a rare move, Warner is selling the show on an all-cash basis, meaning stations get to keep all ad inventory.
– I guess you can say Maury meets People’s Court? MGM recently announced a new first-run strip titled Paternity Court where lawyer Lauren Lake presides over cases of paternity disputes using DNA evidence and DNA tests to determine who belongs to who. Chicago’s WCIU purchased the show for daytime, in addition to the Sinclair, CBS, and Tribune station groups.
Paternity Court marks MGM’s return to the original first-run strip business, where it been absent for quite some time (anyone remember 1996’s Bradshaw Project? Yours truly believes that was MGM’s last first-run strip.)
– Third time’s a charm? Judge Karen Mills-Francis is once again employed in the courtroom show business, thanks to Entertainment Studios. As reported by TV Media Insights, she’s returning in Supreme Justice with Judge Karen, a new first-run strip being pitched for fall. Karen had two short-lived shows from Sony (2008-09) and Litton Entertainment (2010-11). Clearances have yet to be announced.
– Where former ESPN personalities go to… um, work: Thea Andrews is joining the cast of omg!Insider, the reboot of CBS Television Distribution’s first-run entertainment news strip when it debuts on January 7 at 6 p.m. over WCIU. She’ll be co-anchoring aside Kevin Frazier, another former ESPN alum. Andrews replaces Brooke Anderson, who shifts over to Entertainment Tonight as reporter. Insider was originally hosted Pat O’ Brien in 2004 and was replaced by Lara Spencer, who departed the show after she was passed up for the ET co-hosting gig after Mary Hart retired.
– She didn’t win the million dollars on the most recent edition of Survivor (which deserves to be the comeback show of the year after last spring’s disastrous edition), but Lisa Whelchel – best known for playing Blair Warner on The Facts Of Life gets a consolation prize – she gets to be Jeff Probst’s guest co-host for a few weeks on his low-rated talk show (yeah, some prize. I’d rather have the Turtle Wax.) But given the recent news of layoffs on the show, Jeff Probst days in daytime might be numbered. Warm up the bus…
And by the way – Lisa played the best game and should have won.