‘Starting Over,’ ‘Ellen’ in Mix for Top Markets

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As markets head into spring, the picture is coming into focus for new and returning series on stations’ fall schedules, with some new shows landing potentially key time periods and some veterans looking at the ax.
WNBC-TV in New York and KNBC-TV in Los Angeles will both be adding two new series to the mix: upcoming reality series Starting Over and Telepictures’ talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Sources said the two series will enter syndication bookending the NBC soaps, one airing at noon and the other at 3 p.m. in the country’s top two markets. Which series goes where remains to be seen.
This signals the end of the line for NBC’s The Other Half. That show’s staff members were notified last week that the strip would not be returning for a third season. Another NBC Enterprises strip, Weakest Link, also will not return in the fall.
Both series air on KNBC in Los Angeles, but in New York Weakest Link is being broadcast by WCBS-TV. New episodes of both series will continue to run through the summer.
WCBS will put Living it Up! With Ali & Jack in its 9 a.m. time slot as will sister station KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Both are replacing the slot’s longtime tenant Martha Stewart Living, according to station sources. Stewart is renewed for another year on the CBS owned-and-operated stations and may be shifted to fellow Viacom-owned station KCAL in Los Angeles. Its ultimate berth in New York remains unknown, but one executive speculated that the series may air in late-night beginning this fall.
Veterans still looking for those vital New York time periods are Buena Vista’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which has been on fire lately on WCBS, and Universal’s Crossing Over With John Edward, which now airs on WNYW-TV. Deemed unlikely to return next season by analysts are Jenny Jones (whose 9 a.m. time period on WPIX-TV is expected to be taken over by Telepictures’ upcoming talk show starring Sharon Osbourne), The Caroline Rhea Show on WABC-TV and KCAL-TV and Shipmates on the Fox stations in the two markets.