NBC has confirmed its acquisition of Paramount’s new daytime talkshow teaming “Entertainment Tonight’s” John Tesh and Leeza Gibbons, as reported (Daily Variety, Nov. 3), to premiere next June.
In addition, the network has scheduled a one-hour gameshow block from Reg Grundy Prods. — composed of “Scrabble” and “Scattergories”– to begin airing Jan. 18, filling the gap left by the cancellation of “Santa Barbara.” NBC is also axing “Doctor Dean” and will return that half-hour to affiliates.
NBC said previously that it was weighing several gameshows to join the daytime lineup (Daily Variety, Oct. 1). Still, the presence of the new shows could be short-lived, since NBC officials have said that gameshows were being viewed as a stopgap measure to hold time periods until it could bring in a new talk series, so they could end up being replaced by the new Paramount show.
If the gameshows perform well, however, the network would drop something else from the lineup. NBC said that the Tesh-Gibbons show will premiere June 14, and that no determination has been made regarding what it will replace.
Continuing NBC daytime shows are “Days of Our Lives,” recently renewed for the next three years, companion soap “Another World,” and half-hours “Classic Concentration” and “Faith Daniels.”
The network deal between NBC and Paramount Domestic TV, estimated to be worth $ 15 million to $ 20 million, could prove to be a mixed blessing for two other talkshows, Twentieth TV’s “The Bertrice Berry Show” and King World’s “Les Brown, ” which are vying for similar daytime and morning time slots.
Although it takes a direct competitor out of the syndication arena, the Tesh-Gibbons program could wipe out potential pre-emption opportunities on NBC affils for the other distributors.
NBC, the cellar-dweller in daytime, recently put supervision of the daypart under John Rohrbeck, president of the NBC-owned TV station group, to secure greater cooperation from its O&O’s and affiliates.
No time period has been set for the new gameshows, which gives stations latitude to align their schedule. That’s indicative of the problems NBC has in daytime, where affils and O&O’s have been extremely independent, frequently bumping network fare in favor of syndicated programs.