Syndicators Pick Fall 2007 Launch Dates

Apr 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Syndicators have officially started the 2007 countdown to launch.

Distribution executives — in the midst of mopping up carriage deals in a few remaining markets and sweet-talking advertisers about new series — have pinned down premiere dates for both rookie series and many vets.

Sept. 10 has emerged as the most common debut date for syndicated series.

While some returning series will start their runs for the 2007-08 season as early as Labor Day on Sept. 3, most rookie Monday-through-Friday strips will hit the airwaves beginning Monday, Sept. 10. Two other freshmen will join the class the following week. Trifecta Entertainment & Media, meanwhile, will aim for an October launch for its slate of programming.

Nielsen Media Research officially begins recording the new syndicated TV season on Monday, Aug. 27. However, syndicators have rarely used Nielsen’s start date for their launches, preferring instead to wait until Labor Day passes and school begins in order to reach a more typical daytime audience as viewing patterns begin to be established for the year.

Nielsen’s new season for the broadcast networks begins Sept. 17.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Twentieth Television will have the most new strips for fall, with three shows each. All six of those programs are slated to launch Sept. 10, according to studio and station executives.

Twentieth’s slate includes the launch of off-network animated comedy hit “Family Guy” on the Tribune stations as well as game show “Temptation” and the national launch of “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet,” which is already airing in some markets around the country.

Warner Bros.’ entertainment newsmagazine “TMZ,” a spinoff from the Web site, is expected to debut Sept. 10. The company also will unveil off-net runs of “Two and a Half Men” and “George Lopez” that day.

The company will bring out off-net drama “Cold Case” on a weekly basis, with runs starting the week of Sept. 17.

NBC Universal also is bringing a bevy of new series to the mix, including two new strips and two new weeklies.

“Wilkos,” hosted by “Springer” vet Steve Wilkos, will bow Sept. 10, with Tribune among the major station groups on board. Off-net runs of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will bow seven days later on Sept. 17. Weekly runs of sister series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” are slated to air the weekend of Sept. 22 and movie/DVD review series “Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk” will start the following weekend.

The company will begin new episodes of its veteran series earlier than most other programs.

NBC Universal’s long-running trio of “Access Hollywood,” “Jerry Springer” and “Maury” all start Sept. 3.

Sony Pictures Television is slated to launch its newest court show Sept. 10 as well with “Judge David Young,” whose host’s last day on the Miami bench is May 31. “Judge Maria Lopez” will start its second season that day as well. “Judge Hatchett,” meanwhile, will begin the season Sept. 3.

At MGM Domestic Television Distribution, which nabbed rights to Comedy Central series “Reno 911!” as a strip and “Chappelle’s Show” as a weekly, executives also targeted the week of Sept. 10 for launches. “Reno 911!” will bow that Monday while “Chappelle’s Show” will begin the following weekend as the first new major weekly syndicated series to launch.

CBS Television Distribution, which is not debuting any new series this year, has scheduled Sept. 10 for most of its series, including “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” “Dr. Phil,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider,” “Judge Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown” and “Montel Williams.”

Missing from this list, however, is the current season’s runaway winner, “Rachael Ray,” which will debut the following week on Sept. 17.

Radar Entertainment also has targeted that day for the debut of its series “Jury Duty,” which counts clearances that include WPIX-TV in New York and KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.

Trifecta has locked in the week of Oct. 1 for the launch of its trio of weekly first-run series. The action-packed hour of “UFC Wired,” the family-friendly “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” and the entertainment industry-focused “Hollywood Shootout” all will begin that week.

In addition Telco Productions will unveil weekly series “Dog Tales” the week of Sept. 3.