It looks like there’s going to be more dysfunctional family fun for years to come.
After reports saying Tribune was considering removing NBC Universal Domestic Television’s trio of “conflict talk” shows – Jerry Springer, Maury, and The Steve Wilkos Show at the end of the 2015-16 season comes word the station group has renewed all three shows through the 2017-18 season. Other station groups renewing include Hearst, Sinclair, Sunbeam, and Weigel, covering 65 percent of the country.
In Chicago, Maury stays on Tribune’s WGN-TV, where its been since January 1993, while Weigel retains Springer and Wilkos; both have aired on the station since September 2009. Other renewals for all three include WPIX in New York; KTLA in Los Angeles; WPHL in Philadelphia; and WLVI in Boston.
The deals only involve incumbent stations currently carrying the shows.
During the week of September 22, Maury on WGN dominated the 1 p.m. time slot with a 2.2 household rating and 8 share, easily topping WLS’ Rachael Ray (1.3/4), CBS’ The Talk (1.3/5), and WMAQ’s Meredith Vieira (0.8/3).
In the same time frame, Springer’s 1.4/5 in its 11 a.m. time slot on WCIU trounced WFLD’s rookie talk show The Real (0.7/2). At 10 a.m. Wilkos (1.0/4) is nearly tied with WFLD’s Wendy Williams (1.1/4).
Two months ago, a report in TVNewsCheck suggested Tribune could possibly move away from conflict talk and develop its own programming, after conflict talkers Trisha and The Test (which was cleared on Tribune stations) were canceled last season. A proposed Tribune conflict show (Serch) was sacked after three weeks of poor test results in a few selected markets.
Also, it appeared viewers were shifting away from conflict talk to conflict reality shows, such as Real Housewives, Bad Girls Club, and Basketball Wives.
But in the end, it turned out there’s plenty of room in dysfunction junction for everyone, and ratings were still strong for stations carrying the conflict talkers.
With the renewal of NBCU’s three talk shows, the development of alternate programming for daytime on Tribune stations is now in question. So far, only one such project has been announced (CrimeWatch Daily) from Warner Bros. has been announced, and has cleared the entire Tribune group, covering 42 percent of the country.