Ebert and Roeper, meet Jeffrey and Alison.
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution is taking the 2-year-old New York-based movie-review series “Lyons and Bailes Reel Talk” into a national syndicated launch and has cleared the entire NBC-owned station group for a fall debut of the show.
The series features WNBC-TV’s longtime film critic Jeffrey Lyons and Alison Bailes-who has co-hosted MTV’s “Your Movie Show” as well as IFC’s “At the Angelika”-as dueling voices on the latest film and DVD releases. In addition, the weekly half-hour series will examine trends in the film industry and feature celebrity interviews.
“Stations have been looking for a good show to put in their weekend programming lineup, especially one that is so advertiser-friendly,” said Sean O’Boyle, senior VP and general sales manager for NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. “This is a show that meets those expectations and has already proven itself in one of the toughest markets in the country, New York.”
“Reel Talk” originally debuted as a local series on WNBC in fall 2005 and quickly scored ratings that intrigued NBC Universal executives enough to try the series in other markets. Now the distributor is meeting with stations nationwide with plans to debut the show this fall.
“We make good usage of our studio here,” said Frank Comerford, president and general manager of WNBC. “Everybody who is promoting any movie in New York comes on the show so we are able to land top-notch guests. Viewers respond to that as well as the chemistry between Jeffrey and Alison and we are winning the demo time periods every week.”
Currently, the only movie review show on the air in national syndication is “Ebert & Roeper” which is distributed by Buena Vista Television. That series currently ranks No. 1 in adults 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54, and is averaging a 1.9 rating so far this season. Paramount, now CBS Television Distribution, launched “Hot Ticket” in 2002 but the series was pulled in 2004 despite posting ratings similar to those of “Ebert & Roeper.”
“Reel Talk” originally launched with just Mr. Lyons hosting. Ms. Bailes joined him soon thereafter. Mr. Comerford noted that there will be themed series as part of the package that include an Oscar episode as well as others, depending on the season.