T Dog’s Grab Bag: Back to the future for ABC 7’s daytime lineup

"Jeopardy" returns to 3:30 p.m. this fall on ABC7.

“Jeopardy” returns to 3:30 p.m. this fall on ABC7.

Inside Edition/Jeopardy return to old time slot

– WMAQ adds 11 a.m. newscast

– Chicago Little Leaguers success on and off the field

– Dan McNeil, Cheryl Scott exit while Dish Nation adds a Real Housewife 

Back to the future in early fringe: as expected, ABC-owned WLS-TV is returning syndicated first-run series Inside Edition and Jeopardy to its respective 3 and 3:30 p.m. slots, beginning on September 15. Also returning to its 2 p.m. slot is General Hospital, the only soap remaining on ABC’s daytime schedule.

Both Inside Edition and Jeopardy were both uprooted two years ago from their longtime slots and each moved an hour earlier to make room for Katie Couric’s ill-fated talk show, in a mandate which forced ABC-owned stations to air the show at 3 p.m. Katie’s last show on WLS is on September 12. The final first-run episode aired July 30.

On the other end of the success spectrum, Jeopardy recently scored a major victory by topping all syndicated shows for only the second time in ten years.

Rachael Ray, which WLS acquired in an ABC O&O deal, is being slotted at 1 p.m. starting September 15, as a lead-out to ABC’s The Chew. Not a surprise given both shows are cooking/celebrity oriented and compliment one another.

The news was first reported by Robert Feder on August 8.

Daytime changes are a foot at NBC-owned WMAQ as well: as first reported by the Tribune’s Robert Channick Friday, the station is moving its noon newscast to 11 a.m. and expanding an hour, starting September 8. Marion Brooks is being teamed up with Stefan Holt to anchor the newscast, with a returning Byron Miranda on weather.

To make room, WMAQ is moving Days Of Our Lives from 11 to 12 noon – its traditional time slot it held for decades, up until the 1990s. Also starting on the 8th is Meredith Vieira’s new talk show, which replaces Access Hollywood Live at 1 p.m. There is no word if Live would be back for another season on WMAQ, given there is no longer room on the station’s schedule to air the show.

Comings and goings… well, goings: Unable to come to an agreement, WSCR-AM decided to part ways with veteran sports talker Dan McNeil. According to Robert Feder, McNeil was seeking a pay raise from $300,000 to $500,000 a year – not to mention an unrealistic demand on being moved to afternoons, a spot now occupied by Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein.

Also on the outs is WMAQ weekend forecaster Cheryl Scott (snif), who also didn’t come to terms on a contract renewal (and jeers to the “blue site blogger” who suggested Scott should work for Pittsburgh’s Fox affiliate [WPGH]. One problem – their news is actually produced by the city’s NBC affiliate [WPXI]. Whiff!)

This shouldn’t surprise anybody: Thursday’s Little League World Series game featuring the South Side’s Jackie Robinson West squad – beat both the Cubs and White Sox in the ratings. According to Nielsen, the game earned a 2.4 for ESPN, compared with a 1.4 season average for the Cubs and a 1.3 season average for the White Sox, both on CSN – ranking 26th and 27th among all MLB teams. Jackie Robinson West – the first African-American baseball team to go to the LLWS in 30 years – played again on Sunday, but lost to a squad from Las Vegas.

Jackie Robinson West: Chicago’s 2014 Major League Baseball Team.

Dish Nation gets upgrades and adds a Housewife: According to AJC.Com’s Rodney Ho, Twentieth Television’s syndicated Dish Nation has added a new personality – from the Atlanta-based Rickey Smiley Show – but it’s not the same person heard on the radio show.

Claudia Jordan, the former Price Is Right and Deal Or No Deal model, replaced the recently released Ebonie Steele on Smiley’s syndicated radio show, which is heard in sixty markets, including Power 92.3 locally (WPWX.)

But Jordan is not the one joining Dish Nation.

Instead, the gig went to Porsha Williams, who is a Real Housewives Of Atlanta cast member. She has no plans to be on the radio show.

After Smiley’s show wraps up for the day (around 10 a.m. Atlanta time, or so), Jordan departs and Williams comes in, recording the Dish Nation segments with Smiley and the rest of his crew (this means what you see on Dish isn’t heard on the radio show.)

Williams – who is the daughter of civil rights activist Hosea Williams – was originally a fill-in after Steele’s departure. But the chemistry between her and the rest of the cast was there, and she fits in quite perfectly in this awesome sizzle reel:

The move convinced Fox-owned WAGA in Atlanta to recently upgrade the show to prime access (7 p.m.) from 11:30 p.m., due to increasing ratings, swapping slots with NBCUniversal’s Access: Hollywood. (Dish Nation recently scored an 1.0 household rating nationally.) Currently, radio shows from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Dallas (without Kidd Kraddick, who passed away last year) contribute to Dish.

Locally, Dish Nation airs on WFLD-TV weekdays at 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Ironically, Jordan and former Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne star Demetria McKinney are being considered to join the Real Housewives of Atlanta cast – yes, the very show Williams is on. Could there be some “drama” if Jordan joins the show? If so, you can thank an unlikely figure – Rickey Smiley.

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