In a rather odd coincidence, two different syndicators announced cancellations of their respective daytime talk shows in the same genre on the same day.
Meanwhile, a proposed third show in the same genre is not going forward.
NBC Universal announced Tuesday afternoon it was cancelling Trisha Goodaard’s talk show after two seasons. That was followed up shortly by CBS Television Distribution’s cancellation of The Test. Hosted by comedian Kirk Fox (who half the time looked like he wanted to be elsewhere), The Test was an ill-conceived show which tested individuals on how truthful they are.
While CBS would not comment on The Test, NBCUniversal did release a statement, thanking Ms. Goodard and her staff for the hard work they put in.
Both programs were tied for last place among syndicated talk shows with a 0.4 rating in the key 25-54 female demographic. Neither show was able to improve from its lead-in or match year-ago time period numbers.
In Chicago, The Test aired aired weekdays over WGN-TV at 3 p.m. Trisha aired weekdays over WCIU at 9 a.m. and on The U Too at Noon.
Meanwhile, CBS has also decided not to go forward with Serch, a talk show hosted by one-half of the rap duo 3rd Bass. Serch performed poorly in its test run last January on a few Tribune stations, which was cut from four weeks to three. CBS also declined to comment on Serch.
Serch, The Test, and Trisha were each hoping to put some life in the moribund conflict-talker genre, a format pioneered by Geraldo Rivera and Morton Downey Jr. in the late 1980’s, and taken to new heights in the 1990s by Jerry Springer, whose chair-throwing brawlfest set daytime rating records for stations. But the genre in daytime has lost steam in the last decade as viewers of conflict-type programming have flocked to prime-time reality offerings on cable, offering the same kind of elements (just last week, Real Housewives of Atlanta castmates Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams were reportedly involved in a major physical fight at a “reunion” taping of the show – no word if anyone was hit by a chair.)
Conflict-talkers are an even harder sell now, as many stations prefer to air advertiser-friendly programming as opposed to the baby-mama-drama stuff. Last season saw the cancellation of another conflict-talker, The Jeremy Kyle Show, after two seasons (ironically, Jeremy Kyle – after Jerry Springer served as interim host – succeeded Trisha Goodard on British broadcaster ITV after she left for a rival show on Channel Five.)
The departure of Trisha and The Test brings the number of daytime talk shows canceled this season to four. Bethenny was axed in February, while sophomore talker Katie was bounced after two seasons in December.