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NBCU Unspools ‘Reel’ Across U.S.

May 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution is reeling in stations for upcoming movie and DVD review series “Reel Talk.”
The weekly half-hour program has now claimed more than 85 percent of the country for its debut this fall. In addition to previously announced deals for NBC owned-and-operated stations, “Reel Talk” has been sold to outlets in a number of leading broadcast groups including CBS, Gannett, Belo, Hearst-Argyle, Hubbard, Sinclair and more. Top markets launching “Reel Talk” include WBZ-TV Boston, WFTS-TV Tampa and WRTV-TV Indianapolis. It’s being sold on an all-barter basis.
The series will be hosted by film experts Jeffrey Lyons (the longtime WNBC-TV film critic) and Alison Bailes (MTV’s “Your Movie Show” and the Independent Film Channel’s “At the Angelika”). Each week, the duo will provide viewers with reviews on the latest films and DVDs as well as behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with the stars from the biggest blockbusters. The show also will deliver updates on national box office numbers.
“With 85 percent of the country on board, it’s clear that the reception has been very positive for this show,” said Sean O’Boyle, senior vice president and general sales manager, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. “It already attracts a desirable demographic, having proven itself on WNBC, and viewers know that Jeffrey Lyons and Alison Bailes are two of the most well-respected film critics out there.”
Currently, the only movie-review show on the air in national syndication is “Ebert & Roeper,” 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 debuted on WNBC-TV New York in October 2005 as a local weekend movies series that took viewers behind the velvet rope and provided an insider’s perspective on the best entertainment choices. “Reel Talk” also features casting hits and misses, as well as celebrity interviews.
“We take great pride in the fact that `Reel Talk,’ a show created at our station and led by two dynamic hosts, can take its local popularity and success to a national audience,” said Frank Comerford, president and general manager, WNBC-TV New York. “And the fact that it originates from New York allows for easier access to the top film stars and coverage of the big premieres.”
The series is slated to premiere the weekend of Sept. 29.

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