Fall syndication preview: It’s all Drew

Drew Barrymore show set to debut Monday – on TWO local stations

[Editor’s Note: An earlier draft listed incomplete time period information for Law & Crime Daily and The First 48. This post was updated on September 19.] 

With Nick Cannon’s new syndicated talk show on the shelf for another year, it’s just Drew Barrymore as the lone new syndicated talk show strip this fall.

Last year, the show was pre-sold by CBS Television Distribution to the CBS-owned stations. In Chicago, this site reported the show would wind up either on CBS 2 (WBBM-TV) – or somewhere else given Tamron Hall’s new show was sold to the ABC-owned stations but instead of ABC 7 (WLS-TV) here, it wound up at CW 26 (WCIU) as the station stuck with top-rated Windy City Live.

Well, Drew is going somewhere else – to CW 26 weekdays at 5 p.m. But in an unique twist, Drew is also airing on CBS 2 at 2 p.m., replacing Hot Bench which is moving to CW 26 at 8 a.m. starting Monday. In Chicago, the 2 p.m. airing is on opposite The Kelly Clarkson Show as both programs have similar, multi-topic formats (and thankfully, steer clear of politics.) Shot in New York City, Barrymore’s premiere features a reunion of her fellow Charlie’s Angels co-stars Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz.

With the new syndication season starting Monday, a lot of shows are heading back to the studio, sans audiences of course due to coronavirus with extra safety precautions in place. Both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy return Monday with new episodes with re-designed sets to promote social distancing, while Ellen returns September 21.

Outside of Drew, there isn’t much new premiering in weekday syndication this fall with only one other new strip: Law & Crime Daily, the first non-E/I show Litton has syndicated in years. The series focuses on current court cases and true-crime events, similar to what the syndicated Court TV: Inside America’s Courts did during the 1995-96 season. The show is being produced by Dan Abrams’ Law & Crime Network, which like the newly relaunched Court TV, features live trials and legal news. Law & Crime Daily premieres Monday at 11 p.m. on The U and a 3 a.m. the next day on CW 26. 

The lone off-network sitcom – it you can call it that – comes from Canada’s CBC as the Emmy-nominated Schitt’s Creek from Debmar-Mercury premieres September 28 with a 10 p.m.-11 p.m. double run on WPWR. The Fox-owned sister station to WFLD also has off-Weather Channel episodes of Storm of Suspicion and Weather Gone Viral on Saturday nights. Both are from Entertainment Studios.

Here are other debuts and programming changes you should look out for:

— After being canceled as a weekday show in 2019, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire returns in rerun form in syndication this season thanks in part to the series’ successful prime-time revival on ABC this season hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and to fill the time periods vacated in some markets by Cops when Disney decided to pull the series from off-network syndication. Since Sept. 7, Millionaire has aired on The U (WCUU/WMEU) at 11.a.m. Similar to Drew Barrymore’s show, the show final first-run season was split between The U and ABC 7, who aired the show at 1:35 a.m. Chris Harrison is the host.

— The U also plans to features reruns of off-A&E The First 48. From Trifecta Entertainment, the series airs weekdays at 4 and 5 p.m. starting Monday.

— The syndicated The Doctors begins it 13th season Monday with a new host and format: Dr. Ian Smith and is now being taped from New York City instead of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Maybe they should rename it The Doctor

— This past week, ABC 7 started airing same-day repeats of Live With Kelly & Ryan at 1:40 a.m. as Disney-ABC is letting stations double-run the show in early morning time slots while retaining its 9 a.m. slot locally. It’s back to the future, basically – from 1999 to 2001, ABC 7 ran predecessor Live With Regis & Kathie Lee (later re-titled Live With Regis) in the same time slot. The move shifts repeats of Jeopardy and Inside Edition to 3:07 am. and 3:37 a.m., respectively.

— Shifting to weekends, CBS Television Distribution is replacing Madam Secretary off-network repeats with those of the original NCIS, marking the first time the Mark Harmon drama has been made available to air in broadcast syndication (reruns have been stripped on USA Network since 2009.) NCIS is being paired with spinoff NCIS: New Orleans on CBS 2 Saturdays from 11:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and Sunday/Mondays from midnight-2 a.m.

— What’s Out: In addition to the early cancellation of The Mel Robbins Show (which went off the air Friday) and the removal of Cops and Live PD: Police Patrol last June, also gone are Discovery’s True Crime Files, Dembar-Mercury’s Caught In Providence, and off-network reruns of Chicago P.D. (reruns continue on MyNetworkTV), The Game (who’ll continue on Bounce and streaming on Netflix) while How I Met Your Mother recently moved to diginet Laff and continues to stream on Hulu.


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