T Dog’s Grab Bag: Syndication special

Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson.

Also: WLS-TV dominates November ratings

With the NATPE gathering just weeks away, syndicators are gearing up their sales teams to pitch new projects for the fall of 2014, including Celebrity Name Game (see below) and The Real – both recently receiving “firm gos”. Several freshman and sophomore series are on the bubble including Queen Latifah, The Arsenio Hall Show, Katie, Bethenny, and The Test – all could go either way.

Remember… this is a week-to-week business now, where a single tenth of a ratings point could decide whether or not a show could get another season.

This syndication special also includes local November sweeps results, which includes those of several syndicated shows, such as Live With Kelly and Michael’s move to WLS-TV this season.

– Debmar-Mercury released updated clearances for its upcoming new game show Celebrity Name Game, which now top 80 percent of the country. In addition to stations owned by Tribune (including chicago’s WGN-TV), recent station include San Francisco’s KPIX (CBS), Boston’s WBZ/WSBK (CBS/Ind.), Tampa’s WTTA (Ind.), Minneapolis’ WUCW, Atlanta’s WUPA Cleveland’s WKYC (NBC), and Detroit’s WWJ (CBS). Name Game is hosted by Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson, and debuts this coming September.

– At least one of those bubble shows is now off the list: Twentieth Television’s Dish Nation has been renewed for a third season by the Fox-owned stations who carry the show (both Twentieth and the Fox O&Os are owned by 21st Century Fox.) The program has seen an increase in total viewers from last season (8%)and among first and second-season syndicated shows that premiered later than September 2012, Dish ranked first in the adult 18-34 and adult 18-49 demos.

Inducted into the T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame in 2012 (no explanation needed), Dish Nation features four of the nation’s morning zoos dishing the latest on celebrities and pop culture.  In Chicago, the show airs twice daily at 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on WFLD.

– Yours truly rarely writes about weekly syndication numbers, but here are some notablesSteve Harvey continues to roll on with a 1.8 household-plus-live rating – a series high he notched for the fourth week in a row. The sophomore talker stands above all first-run syndicated rookies, including Queen Latifah (1.0), Bethenny and Paternity Court (both tied at 0.9), and Arsenio and The Test (tied at 0.7).

Katie earned a 1.7 rating, flat from the previous week. Judge Judy and Wheel of Fortune tied for first place among all syndicated shows with a 7.5 household rating.

– ABC-owned WLS-TV is a November sweeps winner again: excluding the 6-7 a.m. news time slot (where it came in third in households), WLS swept its competitors in every news time slot in households, despite atrocious lead-ins such as the soon-to-depart Katie or ABC’s prime-time lineup (excluding Thursdays of course.) However, the race was much tighter in the key 25-54 demos, where both WGN-TV and WMAQ-TV closed the gap – especially in morning news, where WGN won outright.

As usual, it was a tough book for WBBM-TV and WFLD-TV – their newscasts placed behind their competition. WBBM’s 6 p.m. newscast with Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan is actually attracting fewer viewers than the one anchored by veterans Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson last year. Meanwhile, WFLD’s 9 p.m. newscasts fell to lows not seen since at least 1987-88, in its freshman year.

At 9 a.m., WLS’ Live With Kelly and Michael beat WGN’s expanded morning newscasts in households.

For more results, click here.

Want sweeps results from other cities? Here they are: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Buffalo, Providence, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Sacramento, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee.