Chicago syndication schedule update: “Modern Family” gets key prime access slot

The cast of "Modern Family" at the Emmys.
The cast of “Modern Family” at the Emmys.

Simpsons to run on My50; Modern Family penciled in for 6:30 p.m. and 10

Arsenio, Bethenny score on the first day; The Test flunks 

The 2013-14 syndication season started Monday, as viewers welcomed back Arsenio Hall and sampled Bethenny Frankel’s new show, but snubbed Kirk Fox’s paternity test show. In addition, the final pieces of Chicago’s local fall schedules finally fell into place as WCIU, The U Too, WFLD, and WPWR finally revealed their weekday schedules. As a follow-up to a post I wrote last week on the changes happening in syndication this month, here’s an update:

-As expected, Twentieth Television’s Emmy-winning comedy Modern Family has been slotted at 6:30 p.m. in prime access and 10 p.m. on Fox-owned WFLD beginning Sept. 23. Same day repeats of TMZ and Dish Nation are being pushed back to 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively (of course, both magazine strips can still be seen in early fringe at 5 and 5:30 p.m.)

– For local fans of The Simpsons, finally some good news: in addition to its 6 p.m. airing on WFLD, two daily airings are being added to sister station WPWR-TV at 9 and 9:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 23, marking the first time the animated series has aired on the My Network TV affiliate, joining other Fox-owned MNT stations have also added the classic animated series to their schedules, including WWOR in New York, KCOP in Los Angeles, and KTXH in Houston, among others.

In addition, the two daily airings of The Office are shifting to WPWR at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., respectively. But in other markets, the former NBC comedy is being shafted to less desirable daytime and overnight time slots. Case in point: WPCH-TV in Atlanta recently moved the show to 7 a.m.

Also on Sept. 23, WPWR is adding Law & Order: SVU to its daytime schedule (9 and 10 a.m.) as the series returns to syndication.

– Weigel’s WCIU and The U Too released their fall schedules Monday; to see them click here and here. In addition to Queen Latifah airing at 7 p.m. on WCIU, Paternity Court from MGM is cleared at 12:30 p.m. with a secondary airing at 5:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 23.

And they’re off… 

Three new syndicated series made their debuts on Monday: Warner Bros. Bethenny, and CBS Television Distribution’s The Test and of course, the return of The Arsenio Hall Show.

Chicago numbers unfortunately, were not available.

Arsenio – a late fringe entry – was the best performer, drawing a household 1.9/4 in the nation’s 56 metered markets, up 90 percent from year-ago time slots. The program drew a 1.0 ratings in adults 18-49 and a 1.2 in adults 25-54.

Arsenio scored its best household ratings in his hometown of Cleveland, where Tribune Fox affiliate WJW-TV earned a 4.6/10 (WJW – then a CBS affiliate – was Arsenio’s outlet for most of the show’s original run.) Next was Cincinnati’s WSTR, with a 3.6/8.

Arsenio also performed well in Los Angeles, where KTLA earned a 3.2/9 in households, up from its news lead-in and won its 11 p.m. time period.

In daytime, Bethenny got off to a good start, scoring a 1.2/4 in households (according to B&C), off only 7 percent from last-year time periods. But in its key female 25-54 demo, she scored a 0.8/5, up 32 percent from year-ago time period averages and up 14 percent from its’ lead-in. Consider this a decent start (by comparison, Ellen DeGeneres’ – an executive producer on Bethenny’s show – scored a 3.1 household rating for her season premiere on Monday.)

CTD’s The Test averaged only a 0.7/2, down 22 percent from year-ago TP levels, and slipped 12 percent from lead-in. But the series scored a 0.5/4 in females 25-54, up 25 percent from year-ago TP.

Feedback from Twitter – a true measurement of how viewers feel about a show (since comment sections of articles can be easily swayed since they can be linked from sources with biased perspectives), showed generally positive reviews for Bethenny Frankel, Arsenio Hall, and Jenny McCarthy (who joined The View on Monday). On the other hand, The Test was roundly thrashed, as viewers dismissed it as a Jerry Springer/Maury clone, with some even saying the show was racist.