“TMZ Live” heads to Fox Chicago

Ricki Lake changes EPs on her newly relaunched show

WFLD and four other Fox-owned stations announced they were slotting Warner Bros.’ TMZ Live, a spin-off of the popular half-hour strip beginning Monday.

TMZ Live features TMZ creator and executive producer Harvey Levin talking to his staff about the day’s entertainment stories in an expanded, hour-long format. Launched in 2007 as a TV version of the popular pop culture website, TMZ is now in its sixth season.

TMZ Live is already on the air at KTTV in Los Angeles and KSAZ in Pheonix. In Los Angeles, KTTV is up 43 percent from year-ago time period rating in households while KSAZ is up 5 percent with a 2.2, pretty good by daytime standards.

In addition to Fox Chicago, other O&Os clearing TMZ Live include KDFW Dallas, WJBK Detroit, and KMSP Minneapolis, primarily in early afternoon time periods.

In Chicago, TMZ Live is scheduled to air at 2 p.m., replacing Warner’s Anderson Live, (notice the emphasis on the word “Live” in this piece) which moves to 1 p.m. WFLD hopes the addition rejuvenates its ailing afternoon schedule, which also consists of the struggling Ricki Lake Show.

In her first week on the air in Chicagoland, Ricki Lake earned a 0.3 rating at 3 p.m., opposite four other talk shows, including Ellen and fellow rookie talkshow Katie. Despite the pitiful number, Ricki Lake is staying in its time slot for now.

Beginning next September, WFLD plans to add Bethenny Frankel’s new talk show to its daytime lineup.

In an unrelated move, The Ricki Lake Show announced Friday it was replacing exec producer Lisa Kridos with Gail Steinberg, the former EP from Lake’s old show.

National ratings for The Ricki Lake Show are being reprocessed by Nielsen, but based on info from LPM markets, Lake is only averaging a 0.4 rating among her female 25-54 demographic, down 20 percent from lead-in and year-ago time period. Online reviews of Ricki Lake’s comeback have been quite harsh, even more so than those for Katie Couric’s new show.

Maybe Ms. Lake should change the name of her show to Ricki Lake Live!