‘iVillage Live’ Moving to Chicago

May 1, 2007  •  Post A Comment

“iVillage Live” is trading in its flip-flops-wearing Universal Orlando theme park audience and moving north to Chicago for its retooled sophomore season.
Steve Schwaid, programming VP of NBC Universal Television Stations, informed the Orlando-based staff of the impending change Tuesday.
The show will originate from WMAQ-TV, where such syndicated programming as NBC Universal’s “The Jerry Springer Show” and its upcoming spin-off, “Steve Wilkos,” is produced. “iVillage Live” will continue to have a studio audience.
The weekday show was launched with the intention of melding traditional ratings, the newly acquired iVillage.com, interactivity, portability and on-air product placement and on-line product sales to boost the NBC Universal-owned stations daytime lineups and bottom lines. The show debuted with a full slate of sponsors and has since brought in additional clients and is said to be making money.
However, sources suggest that it was felt that transplanting the show to Chicago — playing to an audience that does not include children vacationing with their parents — will give “iVillage Live” more in common with big-city markets and would allow producers to make some of the content edgier.
There was no information Tuesday on how the show’s format or cadre of five co-hosts might change.
“The NBCU Television stations are committed to iVillage Live and the new business opportunities it has created for our stations,” said a statement released to TelevisionWeek by a spokesperson for the NBCU stations group. “Universal Orlando has been a great venue for our show’s launch, and the theme park environment has added excitement and a unique feel to the show. But as we explore a new flow and feel for the program, we will be moving the show to Chicago, which is one of our largest television markets. iVillage Live is a new concept for daytime, and as a locally produced show, we will continue to evolve the program, making whatever changes and improvements we feel necessary to ensure its continued success.”
The timetable calls for “iVillage Live” to continue to broadcast live through June, run content that already is being taped for the month of July and then go on a previously planned hiatus for August.


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