It’s been tough lately for new first-run syndicated programs to get rolling, for one main reason: The established syndie shows are refusing to give up their time slots.
With limited real estate available on stations’ schedules, there just isn’t much room for anything new to squeeze in, Adam Buckman reports on TVNewsCheck.com. Shows such as “Judge Judy,” now in its 21st season; “Live with Kelly,” on the air in some form since 1983; and “Ellen DeGeneres,” a daytime staple since its 2003 premiere, all have renewals in place through the year 2020 — as do the court genre mainstays “Judge Mathis,” on the air since 1999, and “People’s Court,” which goes back to 1997.
And those are just a few examples — all the traditional target dayparts for syndication are jammed. The report quotes Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, saying that if it weren’t for shows “clogging the pipeline,” there would be a “robust marketplace” for syndication, with six or seven new shows likely to come onto the market each year.
Even Paul Franklin, president of Columbia Television Distribution — whose thriving veteran shows such as “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!,” “Judge Judy,” “Dr. Phil,” “Inside Edition” and “ET” might be seen as a big part of the problem — acknowledges there’s a problem.
“Obviously, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a big hit in the marketplace,” said Franklin. “Time periods are few and far between. [It is] very challenging to get launched in major markets.”
Compounding the situation, Buckman writes, is a trend that finds stations increasingly filling the 4-5 p.m. slot — one of the traditional prime locations for first-run syndie programming — with news.
We encourage readers to click on the link above to TVNewsCheck to read Buckman’s full analysis.