Includes NBC 5 in Chicago
Quickly removing any speculation, the NBC-owned stations announced they were slotting sister company NBCUniversal Syndication Services’ Kelly Clarkson Show in the time period now occupied by Ellen starting in September 2022.
This means Clarkson is replacing Ellen into the plum 3 p.m. real estate spot on ten NBC-owned stations, including NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) here in Chicago. Clarkson is already airing at 3 p.m. on NBC-owned WBTS in Boston, as rights to Ellen belong to ABC affiliate WCVB. In total, NBC owns eleven English-language stations including the top seven markets in the country including New York and Los Angeles and eight of the top ten.
The move was expected, and speculated for years once Ms. DeGeneres called it a career. Clarkson’s show debuted in September 2019 as a replacement for Steve [Harvey], whose show was distributed by NBC but was not produced or owned by the network, as IMG handled those duties instead. Clarkson is produced, distributed, and owned by NBCSS and has been renewed through 2023.
“We look forward to Ellen DeGeneres’ 19th season paired with Kelly Clarkson for what is sure to be a blockbuster year, said NBCUniversal Local president Valari Staab, who oversees the NBC and Telemundo stations owned by the network. “By 2022, ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ will be the star of our daytime entertainment schedules and an asset to our early afternoon newscasts.”
DeGeneres announced earlier this month she was stepping down from her show after next season as her ratings have declined amid reports of behind-the-scenes tension involving racial and sexual harassment. Ratings for Clarkson have also declined but keep in mind so has almost every TV show as the industry is struggling to re-define itself in a new era of streaming doing so amid a pandemic.
With the move now confirmed, the NBC-owned stations and NBCUniversal Syndication Studios plan to focus on a replacement in the 2 p.m. time slot for Clarkson. One name branded about is Tiffany Haddish. But other options for the hour may also be looked at, including lifestyle shows and yes, even more local news.
Another shakeup is coming with the end of first-run production of Judge Judy, with Judy Sheindlin moving to Amazon/IMDB to host a new courtroom show later this year. However, repeats of Judy remains in syndication in new deals, but it’s not known if the CBS-owned stations who carry Judy in top markets (including CBS 2 here) as news lead-ins would continue to do so next season as their fall plans have yet to be announced.