NATPE is here

The NATPE convention begins today in Las Vegas, and Broadcasting & Cable has a story on what the nation’s 25 largest TV station groups are shopping for next season.

One thing is clear: A lot of veteran syndicated programs (Oprah, Wheel, Rachael Ray, People’s Court, etc.) are sold well into the future – for the next four or five years, which makes it harder for new shows to get on the air. Meanwhile, the future of Twentieth Television’s Temptation and Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords are in very serious doubt, with the NBC O&Os expected to drop the latter show., while Debmar’s new Trivial Pursuit is expected to replace Temptation on many large market Fox-owned My Network TV stations.

The convention is a chance for small syndicators to shine – and sell. Telco Productions for one, returned to handling distribution of its own programs, taking over from now-shuttered Tribune Entertainment, which previously handled the job for them (Tribune will continue with ad sales for the shows.) Telco syndicates weeklies Animal Rescue, Missing, and Dog Tales.

For those of you attending the convention, here is a complete NATPE schedule.

WAIT… HOLD UP: It looks like there is going to be a second season for Crosswords after all. Program Partners says that the program has been renewed by the six NBC O&Os that carry the show, as well as other station groups covering 50 percent of the country.

updated at 11:23 am on 2008-01-28