Fall syndication preview: three new talkers battle it out

Tamron Hall, Kelly Clarkson, and Mel Robbins are launching new syndicated talk shows this fall.

New talk shows do battle this fall; former talk show host now TV’s newest judge

(Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.)

Even though the new broadcast prime-time network TV season doesn’t begin until September 23, syndication’s new season gets underway Monday with staggered rollouts over the next two weeks. Already, CW programming shifted to WCIU from WPWR on September 1, re-branded as CW 26 while “The U” shifted to WCUU/WMEU (Chs. 26.2/48.1) as it remains independent.

As you’ve read in this space for the last year or so, three new daytime talk shows are premiering this month – not to mention a former talk show host donning a judge’s robe. On Monday, NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson and Disney/ABC’s Tamron Hall finally roll out, with the former airing at 2 p.m. on NBC-owned WMAQ-TV and the latter airing at 4 p.m. on WCIU-TV and 8 p.m. on The U. Clarkson has a deal with the NBC O&Os; Hall with the ABC-owned stations with the exception of WLS-TV.

Meanwhile, motivational speaker Mel Robbins has a new show through Sony Pictures Television at 1 p.m. over Tribune’s WGN-TV, serving as a better local news lead-out than Maury, who moves to 2 p.m.

But enough about them. What about everything else?

Game shows. Debuting September 16 at 2 p.m. on WFLD and 4:30 p.m. on WPWR is the premiere of 25 Words Or Less with Meredith Vieira. Tested last year on several Fox-owned stations, it is the first syndication entry from Fox Corporation’s new Fox First Run syndication unit, who also distributes Dish Nation and Divorce Court. The show is based on a board game of the same name.

Also debuting on September 16 is Family Feud clone America Says from Sony and GSN (8:30 a.m., 4 p.m. WPWR), where two teams of four guess the top answers to fill-in-the-blank questions and hosted by John Michael Higgins (yes, the same John Michael Higgins who played David Letterman in HBO’s The Late Shift film.)

Court. Aside from Judge Jerry, two new courtroom shows make their syndicated debuts on September 16: MGM’s Personal Injury Court (8 a.m., WCIU; 1 p.m. The U), and  Trifecta Entertainment’s Protection Court (8:30 a.m., WCIU; 1:30 p.m. The U) which features Judge Caroll Kelly trying court cases in Miami. Meanwhile, MGM’s Couples Court and Paternity Court are being demoted on WCIU to the 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. slots respectively and at midnight and 12:30 a.m. on The U.

Of note is WPWR getting into the court business in the afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. with The Verdict With Judge Hatchett, Justice With Judge Mablean, Divorce Court, and Caught In Providence.

True Crime/Reality. After a few seasons as a weekly, The Sheriffs of El Dorado is becoming a strip, airing weeknights at 10:30 on The U. Meanwhile, the ABC O&Os dropped Right This Minute in a surprise move given ABC and its syndicator (Disney/ABC) are corporate cousins. The Scripps-produced viral video series continues to air on both WCIU and The U at 10 a.m. and at 2:30 a.m., respectively

For weekends, The U offers off-A&E series Intervention from PPI Releasing airing Sundays at 3 p.m., starting this week.

The off-cable “America Says” debuts in broadcast syndication Sept. 16 with host John Michael Higgins.

Off-network. As mentioned on this blog before, Bob’s Burgers is expanding to a strip five days a week in a double-run, airing weeknights at 12:30 a.m. on WCIU and in several Saturday time slots as series distribution (and for Family Guy and The Simpsons) switches to Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution.

Now back fully in prime-time on WPWR from 8-10 p.m., My Network TV is bringing back repeats of Law & Order: SVU on Monday nights beginning September 23 while shifting Criminal Intent to Thursdays as the rest of the schedule remains unchanged.

New names, new faces in different places.  As mentioned beforehand, Warner Bros.’ Extra adds Billy Bush as the former Access Hollywood host takes over while the show retains its home at WFLD at 3 p.m. (plans to rename the show Extra Extra has been scrapped.) Meanwhile, former Extra host Mario Lopez jumps over to the newly re-named (and previously titled) Access Hollywood at 6:30 p.m. on WMAQ.

A new spin-off show of Access Hollywood (All Access) got a last-minute clearance at WMAQ, but at 3 a.m. here and at Dallas’ KXAS, according to Zap2It’s TV listings. In other NBC-owned markets, All Access is airing at 7:30 p.m.

Another new face in a new place is former Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren as she helms the weekly syndicated Full Court Press from the Gray station group, owners of Rockford CBS affiliate WIFR where the series is airing Sundays at 10:35 p.m. starting this week. Here in Chicago, WCIU slotted the show Sundays at 11:30 a.m. In case you’re wondering, Susteren’s show isn’t about hoops but interviewing political leaders and other Washington D.C. insiders, so if you’re looking for a LeBron James or Stephen Curry interview here forget about it.

What’s Out. If you’ve read the blog, you already know about the end of Millionaire, Steve, Pickler & Ben, etc. Other series leaving syndication for one reason (cancellation) or another (expiring contracts) include Judge Faith, Rules Of Engagement, American Dad, King of The Hill, and The Cleveland Show.

Another syndicated talk show (Toronto-based Cityline) is shifting to new diginet DABL, launching September 9.

Two other shows – Corrupt Crimes and Killer Mysteries – are also canceled, due to the closure of syndicator Bellum Entertainment, who produced each show. The company was sued in 2017 by employees over the lack of or no back pay, among other issues. While both series can still be found on cable TV and diginets such as Escape, neither show had any original episodes air during the past year.

Updated on 2019-09-06 at 9:45 p.m. to add news on Extra.

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2 responses to Fall syndication preview: three new talkers battle it out


  1. Elijah Biswabic

    HI, I was about to ask a question. Can you please update your Fall syndication preview to include a few shows for weekends to include World’s Funniest Weather, reruns of “The Carbonaro Effect”, “Forensic Factor” and Game Time with Boomer Esiason. For What’s Out, can you please add for weekends: Bones and Person of Interest. And nobody has mentioned that The James Brown Show has been cancelled and will not return for 2019-20.

    • Terence

      Thank you for the updates. For one, I did not know Bones and Person Of interest were on the outs. Will adjust the article when I can.

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