Buena Vista Television has cleared its first-season talk strip “The Tony Danza Show” on stations representing coverage of 60 percent of the country for the 2005-06 season.
John Bryan, executive VP and sales manager for Buena Vista, said “Danza” was cleared in 90 markets for next season and has been cleared on stations in groups that include the ABC owned-and-operated stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Belo, Tribune, McGraw-Hill, Meredith Broadcasting Group, Raycom Media and Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
Unlike most of its first-season competitors, “Danza” currently airs overnight in two of the top five markets, on ABC-owned stations, which like Buena Vista are part of The Walt Disney Co. Thanks to a bounty of programming running on the ABC O&Os in Los Angeles and Chicago, however, securing a daytime spot on either ABC station has so far been impossible. Buena Vista has not renewed the show on those two stations because it hopes to find better time periods for “Danza” in those markets.
Bill Carroll, VP of programming for Katz Television Group, said the L.A. and Chicago overnight clearances impact the show’s national number.
“They are going to be a problem,” he said of the late clearances, but he said the local markets where “Danza” runs in daytime are of more interest than the show’s national number. “Is it better if they had the show running in all daytime markets? Absolutely,” Mr. Carroll said. “It just makes it easier for everyone, since you don’t have to make that additional analysis.”
Mr. Bryan said getting “Danza” into daytime in Los Angeles and Chicago is a goal at Buena Vista.
“We’re still working toward upgrades in those two markets,” he said, but added that in the past, Buena Vista product has been able to overcome the problem. “Live With Regis and Kelly,” for example, was on late-night on ABC O&O WLS-TV in Chicago for years before getting a morning run on Tribune station WGN-TV.
“They are invested in the show, and they want it to succeed,” Mr. Bryan said of the ABC O&Os. “We see it as a daytime player.”
Through the week ended Dec. 26, 2004, “Danza” had a national household rating of 1.3, according to Nielsen Media Research. “Danza” has a season-to-date average of 0.7 among women 18 to 49 and 0.8 among women 25 to 54.
Although “Danza’s” numbers are hardly stellar, Mr. Carroll said the show’s strength shows in key markets and through Mr. Danza’s persona.
“With solid numbers in New York and Philadelphia, and the ease that he has performing live on television, the combination of those factors allowed everyone to be optimistic and thus support going forward,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Bryan announced “Live” and game show strip “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” are both cleared through 2008 on stations representing more than 60 percent of the country.