“Right This Minute” returns to local TV


Change in syndicators for long-running clips show; FABLife canceled.

After a year off the local airwaves, video-clip show Right This Minute is back in Chicago thanks to a new syndication deal.

The rights to distribute Right This Minute was picked up by Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution, and cleared on all eight ABC-owned and operated stations. Both have The Walt Disney co. as corporate parents.

The deal returns Right This Minute to local TV here and in New York, via WLS-TV and WABC-TV in New York respectively, both ABC O&Os. The series has been off the air in both large markets since last September, when Fox-owned WPWR-TV and WWOR-TV didn’t renew the show.

New York (DMA rank: 1) and Chicago (DMA rank: 3) account for about 11 percent of the country, and is make or break when clearing syndicated product.

Minute is produced by Magic Dust, in association with the Cox, Raycom, and Scripps station groups. Minute airs on the majority of the stations owned by these groups, including WFXT in Boston, WXYZ in Detroit, and WBRC in Birmingham. Disney takes over syndication from MGM, which took over from Sony a few years ago.

The decision to acquire Minute came minutes before Disney-ABC decided late Tuesday to cancel freshman daytime talk show strip FABLife. The move to drop the critically-panned program came as no surprise as host, creator, and executive producer Tyra Banks departed the show two months into its run. The show averaged a 0.7 household rating and averaged around a 0.3 rating in the women 18-49 and 25-54 demos. The series aired locally over WLS-TV weekdays at 1 p.m.

The younger-skewing FABLife seemed out of place compared to the more traditional daytime fare airing on WLS and other ABC affiliates. Yours truly made fun of the concept when the series was announced in October 2014.

It is not known what time period Right This Minute would occupy on WLS this fall, or what would replace FABLife, although CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray, which occupied the slot during the 2014-15 season and is airing at 1:40 a.m., could return to 1 p.m.

FABLife is slated to conclude Sept. 9.