The Grab Bag: "Entertainers with Garry Meier"

Here’s what going on:

– WGN-AM’s Garry Meier is starring in his own TV special, set to air on WCIU July 11 at 10:30 p.m, titled The Garry Meier Special. Among the featured interviews: George Wendt (Cheers), Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper, Richard Lewis (Anything But Love), Tim Kazurinsky, and the lady who pick the lottery numbers.

This sounds awfully like the syndicated late-night weekend show Entertainers With Byron Allen – only with local talent.

– Radio host Bill Cunningham’s new planned television talk show is already in trouble – he and producer Tribune Broadcasting is being sued by the guests of the program for abuse – and the program isn’t even on the air yet!

The guests were mothers of child pagents winners, who claim they were misled about the topic and were subject to abuse by Cunningham and the studio audience.

Tribune is taping the Cunningham shows at WGN-TV for a two-week test which would air on the station, Raycom-owned Fox affiliate WXIX in Cincinnati, and other Tribune stations. The format would be a confrontational-style talk show in the line of Jerry Springer (who has Cincinnati ties), Maury Povich, and Steve Wilkos‘ talk shows, which airs on several Tribune stations.

And yes, this is the same Bill Cunningham who is a conservative talker at WLW in Cincinnati. I suppose next, Randy Michaels & Co. will try to lure Chad Ochocinco of the Bengals to host a talk show if Cunningham doesn’t work out.

– Warner Bros. Big Bang Theory has cleared eight more markets for its September 2011 premiere, on top of the fifteen it has already cleared. The latest clearances are: Tribune’s duopolies in Seattle and Indianapolis, WNOL in New Orleans and WTIC in Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; WSBK in Boston; and Fox affiliates KDVR in Denver; and WCCB in Charlotte.This brings the total to 23 markets cleared thus far.

– Also on the syndication beat, Dr. Oz is now cleared in 35 percent of the countryfor a second cycle, beginning in September 2011. Latest stations to take the doc’s prescription include Fox affiliate KTVU in  San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose; ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas-Fort-Worth; NBC affiliate KPRC Houston; ABC affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh; and independent KTVK in Phoenix. Two of those stations – WFAA and KTVK – are owned by Belo.