‘Jenny’ saved by Tribune deal

Apr 22, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has completed a deal with the Tribune station group that includes virtually its entire programming slate and will revive “The Jenny Jones Show” for the fall schedule.
“Jenny Jones” was on the verge of being canceled (EM, March 4) due to eroding ratings and losing its New York and Los Angeles Fox outlets, but now the series has been cleared on all the Tribune stations as part of a widespread Warner/Tribune distribution deal.
“Tribune has been a great partner with us for a lot of shows, and we’re really excited to be in business with them,” said Jim Paratore, executive VP of distributor Warner Bros. “They have picked up `Jenny Jones’ across the board and now offer us a number of quality stations that know how to promote shows.”
The deal not only saves “Jones” from cancellation but also gives clearances to most of Warner Bros.’ programming slate, including the second cycle of top-rated off-network series “Friends,” “People’s Court,” “Judge Mathis,” hot freshman “Elimidate” and two series some considered to be on the bubble, “Change of Heart” and “Street
Smarts.” The deal includes renewals for stations already carrying Warner Bros. programming. If a show has already been committed to another station, the series will continue to air on the original outlet.
Also included in various markets were clearances for upcoming series “Caroline” and “Celebrity Justice,” the third cycle of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and the “Volume 38” movie package, which includes “The Perfect Storm,” “The Green Mile” and “Space Cowboys.”
“Jenny Jones” had been expected to join the likes of “Sally Jessy Raphael,” which was canceled earlier in the year due to rising production costs and declining ratings. However, sources say that production executives have trimmed much of the production-cost fat in order to bring the series back for another season.
“This is a deal that is perfect for both parties,” one television analyst said. “It was clear that Tribune needed programming and Warner Bros. needed an outlet, so the match solves a lot of problems on both sides.”
Sources said in March that a number of options were in play for “Jenny Jones,” including different barter arrangements and a “Best of Jenny Jones” series hitting the market.
As the strip wraps its 2,000th episode this season, Mr. Paratore said that, having weathered the storm, he hopes the series will continue for a number of years to come.
“We’re incredibly happy to be able to have this show return for another season,” he said. “I expect we’ll have many more down the road.”