Ending months of speculation, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution yesterday announced that it has renewed its “Jenny Jones” talker for a third season.
Many in the industry had predicted the talk show would be a goner by the end of this season. After all, “Jenny” lost many stations and experienced widespread downgrades following a dismal perf during its first year.
But WBDTD convinced some of the stations belonging to the show’s original lineup to hold firm. Exec producer David Saltzman brought in former “Donahue” producers Ed Glavin and Debby Harwick Glavin to supervise the retooling of the program, which has switched to a single-subject format.
The strategy worked. “Jenny” gained not only on those stations, but experienced an overall household and demo improvement during the November sweeps on a mostly rag-tag band of indies.
Because of the ratings improvement, many of the stations that discarded the show after the first season have either upgraded or reacquired it for the third.
Its survival has apparently forced two other distribs that had targeted the “Jenny” time periods, Multimedia and Tribune, to withdraw their proposed daytime talk show entries for fall.
With the renewals, WB will change the sales terms for the third season of “Jenny” from all barter to cash-plus-barter.
Currently, the distrib retains seven minutes of advertising time and gives the stations seven minutes. Under the revamp, the split will shift to 10 1/2 minutes for the stations and 3 1/2 minutes for the distrib.
The conversion to partial cash reflects increased confidence in the show and the economy, according to Scott Carlin, senior VP of sales for WBDTD. The barter time is more valuable to the stations than to the syndicator, he noted.
Entering the National Assn. of Television Program Executives confab in two weeks, “Jenny” has been renewed in about 42% of the country, including all of the top 10.
In Los Angeles, “Jenny” will jump to afternoons on KCOP next fall from KNBC-TV, which has been airing the show in daytime at 2 p.m. The O&O secured Multimedia Entertainment’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” and “Jerry Springer” as part of a group deal that kicks in this September.
Aside from L.A., the talker will shift to new stations and time periods in San Francisco (mornings on KTVU), Boston (mornings on WDCA), Dallas (afternoons on KXAS) and Detroit (mornings on WDIV).
“Jenny” will stay put in slots on Chris-Craft’s WWOR-TV, New York; NBC O&O WMAQ-TV in Chicago, which provides the production facilities; WGBS, Philadelphia; WDCA, Washington, D.C., and KTXH, Houston.
Additionally, stations in San Antonio and Kansas have opted to double run the program after seeing strong late night performances this season.
WB opted to renew the talker following the November sweeps, when the program’s household share jumped 38% from an 8 to an 11 vs. November 1991. Among the key target group of women 18-49, the talker lept 31% to a 21 share from a 16 .
In markets where “Jenny” is airing on the same station and time period from a year ago, the household share rose 30% from a 10 to 13 while women 18-49 increased 33% to a 28 from a 21.
The numbers improved even among men 18-49, which grew 100% to a 16 from an 8 share in November.