Time Slots Are Tight for Fall 2014 as Syndicators Plan to Unleash a Huge Pile of New Shows

Nov 7, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The distributors of syndicated television programming are finding out that time slots are hard to come by for fall 2014, with syndicators hoping to roll out somewhere in the ballpark of 20 new shows.

Most of those new programs are anything but sure things at this point, TVNewsCheck reports. Only three are a firm go, according to the report: "Meredith Vieira," from NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution, and "The Real" and "TMZ Live," both from Warner Bros.

"Pickups of the others will depend in large part on which current shows don’t return and open up coveted time slots," the story reports.

The new syndie fare includes more than a dozen first-run programs and seven off-net shows, the report notes.

"The New York-based ‘Meredith’ will be a multi-topic talk show with celebrity guests and a regular sidekick for Vieira. It’s already cleared in 70% of TV homes with the NBC Owned Television Stations supplying clearances in the top markets," the story reports. It adds: "’The Real’ is a ‘View’-style panel talk show with five co-hosts, including comedian Loni Love, which Fox TV Stations tested successfully over the summer. ‘TMZ Live,’ a spinoff of entertainment newsmagazine ‘TMZ,’ has been slowly rolling out since 2012, initially on Fox stations."

The chances for the rest of the bunch rest heavily on the fate of a few current bubble shows. The at-risk group, the story reports, includes Disney-ABC’s "Katie," Warner Bros.’ "Bethenny," CBS Television Distribution’s "The Test" and Trifecta’s "OK! TV."

"’Katie’s’ fate rests mostly with the ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney’s in-house station group," TVNewsCheck reports. "If the O&Os don’t want a third season or can’t get it for the terms they want, there will not be a third season. A decision is said to be imminent."

"Bethenny" is looking a little better after a recent uptick in ratings. "In fact, among women 25-54 and women 18-49, it outperformed Sony Pictures Television’s rookie ‘Queen Latifah’ the week of Oct. 21. Week to week, it was up 33% and 20%, respectively," the piece reports.

Both "OK! TV" and "The Test" are among the poorest-performing syndicated programs on the air, the article notes. "However, ‘Test’ is performing on par with NBCUniversal’s conflict-talk show ‘Trisha,’ which is snagging third-season renewals on major station groups," the report notes.

The new programs looking for distribution include talk shows, game shows, court shows and panel shows, the piece says.

"Debmar-Mercury and station group Scripps are developing a ‘View’-style panel show with a legal twist. Its chief panelist is former ‘View’ co-host and celebrity attorney Star Jones. An announcement that the show will go forward is expected soon," the story reports. "Debmar-Mercury, which has seen its ‘Family Feud’ surpass ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’ as the No. 1 game show among adults 18-49, is likely to secure clearances for its Craig Ferguson-hosted game show ‘Celebrity Name Game.’"

CBS TV Distribution and "Judge Judy" star Judy Sheindlin are readying the court show "Hot Bench." "With three judges deciding cases, CTD is expected to announce a launch group soon," the story reports.

Said Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for Katz Television Group: “I would be very surprised if CBS doesn’t get ‘Hot Bench’ launched, and I’d be very surprised if Debmar doesn’t get their game show launched."

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read the full in-depth report at TVNewsCheck.com.

meredith vieira-nbcu.jpgMeredith Vieira

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