As per the course for this time of year – and right before the NATPE gathering in Miami – syndicators are announcing renewals left and right. Here’s the latest:
– CBS Television Distribution decided to reward Dr. Phil’s recent ratings increase by renewing the show through the 2016-17 season, with thirteen of CBS owned-and-operated stations on board, including CBS 2 (WBBM-TV) in Chicago. Other groups renewing Dr. Phil include Cox, Dispatch, Media General, Sinclair and Young. So far this season, Dr. Phil is averaging a little over 4 million viewers per day, making it the most-watched syndicated talk show in daytime. In Chicago, Phil airs on CBS 2 weekdays at 3 p.m. and on WCIU at 8 a.m.
– Meanwhile, arch rival Katie Couric has something to boast about as well: Thursday’s episode featuring an interview Manti T’eo, the Notre Dame football star who created an online hoax involving a fake girlfriend (Wow! Why couldn’t I think of something like that?) drew a 2.6 rating/7 share in households, marking its highest rating since Katie’s Sept. 10 premiere. But among total viewers, the program also drew a series-high 3.5 million, a personal record.
Katie won its 3 p.m. time period on ABC 7 (WLS-TV) locally, and also won at 3 p.m. on sister ABC stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Katie’s highest score came in Sacramento, where NBC affiliate KCRA scored 4.7/13, finishing first in its time period.
– The previous week also brought good news for Trisha Goddard and her freshman syndicated talk show. NBCUniversal Television Distribution has green-lighted a second season of Trisha, with stations covering 85 percent of the country gearing up for season two. While the series has averaged around a 0.5 household rating, Trisha has improved time-period rating and shares from the previous year and is showing growth in many key markets including Chicago, where WCIU has experienced 30 percent ratings growth in its 9 a.m. weekday time slot. Trisha has been upgraded in several markets, including Philadelphia (WPSG), Phoenix (KAZT), and Las Vegas (KVCW).
As expected, NBCUniversal picked up another freshmen talk show (Steve Harvey) for a second season.
– WGN America has picked up the off-network rights to underrated comedy Parks and Recreation beginning this fall, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The series, now in its fifth season on NBC, has held its own from tough Thursday night competition, including American Idol and Two And A Half Men. WGN America gets rights to all five existing seasons of the show, but the cable superstation has yet to decide where the series would be on the schedule. The deal does not include WGN-TV in Chicago, and it is not yet known if NBCUniversal will offer the series in broadcast syndication.
– Allbritton Communications’ WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. has become the latest station to join the MeTV family. WJLA, an ABC affiliate, will add the Chicago-based classic TV channel on its 7.2 digital subchannel March 1. The WJLA addition gives MeTV clearances in all top ten largest markets and cleared on 141 stations covering 87 percent of the country.