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Viscott drops nights for a.m. strip

After failing to launch Dr. David Viscott’s local late night call-in program in national syndication, KNBC-TV will offer a new live 90-minute morning strip edition hosted by the on-air therapist beginning Oct. 26.

The new five-day-a-week version of the program will air from 9-10:30 a.m., replacing “Best of Donahue” reruns and NBC’s “Faith Daniels” (formerly “A Closer Look”).

The preemption could come as a blow to the network series, which will be relegated to the 3 a.m. weekday slot in the nation’s second largest TV market.

“Night Talk with Dr. David Viscott,” in which viewers call in asking questions on marriage, sex and relationships, has been appearing from 1-3 a.m. on Saturdays. It will be replaced by “The HBO Comedy Showcase” from 1-2 a.m. and movies in the 2-3:30 a.m. block.

At last January’s National Assn. of Television Program Executives confab, NBC O&O prez John Rohrbeck, who took over the network’s daytime sked last week (Daily Variety, Oct. 1), had sought to move the show into syndication as a latenight strip.

Viacom Enterprises dropped the project several months later and no other syndicators picked it up.

The latest effort for Viscott is seen as part of an effort to get network development funds behind his show. NBC exex have noted that Rohrbeck would use the O&Os as a laboratory to develop potential network fare.

NBC affils are slated to get back a half-hour of time in January, coinciding with the cancellation of “Santa Barbara” and “Dr. Dean” (Daily Variety, Sept. 30 ).

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