ABC affils may resist ‘Mike & Maty’ talker

ABC, forced to scrub plans to add Canadian talkshow “Shirley” to its daytime schedule last spring because of the negative affiliate reaction, may face similar reluctance to its latest replacement, “The Mike & Maty Show.”

Station reps say affils think the show sounds too much like another Buena Vista TV entry, “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee,” and are concerned about co-host Maty Monfort’s relative lack of experience.

“Some affiliates are already talking about pre-empting,” said Jack Fentress, VP-director of programming for the rep firm Petry National Television. “In today’s (crowded talkshow) environment, I’m not sure that is the wisest thing for ABC to do. Does the world really need another talkshow?”

That was the reaction last spring when ABC tried to replace “Home” with airings of “Shirley,” a Canadian talkshow distributed by D.L. Taffner Ltd. ABC was forced to keep “Home” on the schedule and swallow its payment to Taffner, which has since taken “Shirley” into syndication.

The situation also underscores the strained relationship between networks and their affiliates in regard to clearing programs — particularly in daytime and fringe dayparts, where all three networks have been forced to return time to affiliates in daytime during the past 18 months.

ABC currently provides 4 1/2 hours of daytime programming, the same as CBS and a half-hour more than NBC.

The Alphabet network performs well with its afternoon soap block but has traditionally struggled with “Home,” which has also suffered from low clearances during its nearly six years on the network.

“Mike & Maty” is billed as a talk and information show with ample humor, hosted by Monfort, who has fronted two shows on the Spanish-language Univision network, and stand-up comic Michael Burger.

ABC Daytime officials couldn’t be reached for comment. Pat Fili-Krushel was named president of ABC Daytime last May, assuming those responsibilities from ABC Sports prez Dennis Swanson, who reportedly took heat from network brass for the “Shirley” deal.

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