Daytime talk show becomes latest casualty in changing syndication business
After speculation surfaced on the shows future, the pink slip was finally handed out to Warner Bros.’ The Real after eight seasons. The decision to pull the plug came after the Fox Television Stations group declined to renew the show, and also coming on the same day Warner Bros.’ merger with Discovery Communications was finalized.
Originally created by Jersey Shore producer Sally Ann Salsano, the panel show was pitched as a younger, more racially diverse version of The View and was tested on several Fox-owned stations in 2013 before launching nationally in September 2014 with Fox as the primary station group carrier. The original cast consisted of Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, Adrienne Houghton, Tamera Mowry-Housley, and Tamar Braxton.
The lineup changed over the years as the panel of five was reduced by one when Braxton left. The current lineup consists of Love, Mai, Houghton, and Jamie Foxx and NYPD Blue star Garcelle Beauvais, who replaced Mowry when she left two years ago. One of the high points in The Real’s history came in 2016 when the show’s original hosts traveled to the White House to interview then-First Lady Michelle Obama.
While Love blamed the pandemic for the show’s demise, you can also cite the changing nature of the television business as more and more viewers – especially the younger ones The Real coveted, are shifting away from linear TV and into streaming.
Locally, The Real aired as a news lead-in at 11 a.m. over Fox 32 (WFLD) , the only news station airing entertainment programming during the full hour. In the past, the series also run on sister station My50 (WPWR) in a number of time periods. In the most recent ratings report, The Real was near the bottom of the ratings pack, barely above last place cellar dweller The Doctors, which was canceled last week.
With the cancellation of The Real , the sale of TMZ to Fox, and the end of Ellen DeGeneres’ show, Warner Bros. is left with four shows in first-run – newsmagazine Extra, long-running court shows Judge Mathis and The People’s Court, and Jennifer Hudson’s new talk show, which airs on Fox 32 this fall. It’s the smallest number Warner’s had in their portfolio since 1989, when they acquired Lorimar-Telepictures’ syndication operations.
This is the eighth first-run syndicated series to call it quits this year.