Renewals Claim Prime Real Estate

Nov 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A new batch of renewals has helped clarify the programming picture for the fall 2008 season, with NBC Universal Television Distribution completing key renewals for “The Steve Wilkos Show” and “The Martha Stewart Show.”
Multiple sources confirmed the Tribune stations have renewed their deal for “Steve Wilkos,” the “Jerry Springer” spinoff, for next season. It’s the first renewal for the freshman syndicated strip, which initially was offered in a one-year deal.
The Tribune stations have been bolstered this season with new acquisitions, including “Wilkos,” as well as off-net fare “Family Guy” and “Two and a Half Men.” All have outperformed their time periods. Most recently, “Wilkos” has shown three straight weeks of growth to its new all-time high rating of 1.0 in the Nielsen Media Research charts for the week of Oct. 22. “Wilkos” is averaging 1.23 million viewers.
The pickup also makes one less hour available to new syndicated shows trying to find their way to the Tribune stations’ schedules next year.
Also, NBC Universal has cleared “The Martha Stewart Show” for its fourth season on stations representing more than 60% of the country.
The series has been renewed in 17 of the top 20 markets in a one-year deal, including the NBC owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and San Diego for the 2008-09 season. Stations from the Fox, Belo, Fisher, Scripps, Hearst, Allbritton and Clear Channel groups also have picked up the show.
“This early renewal is a wonderful endorsement from our station partners,” said Sheraton Kalouria, president of broadcasting, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Last season, the series averaged a 1.3 national rating.
For the key NBC O&O stations, the renewal of “Martha,” combined with recent pickups of “Deal or No Deal” and “Bonnie Hunt,” has now locked down most of the time periods for the group’s 2008 season. This could spell trouble for “iVillage,” which has no contract for next season.

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