MCA TV has scored a coup by clearing Brandon Tartikoff’s “Last Call” at 12:35 a.m. on NBC San Francisco affiliate KRON-TV, delaying “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” by 30 minutes.
KRON is the first NBC affiliate to license the latenight strip for the slot following “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
Although affils have grumbled about the performance of O’Brien’s show, it has been relatively free of preemptions. MCA TV prez Shelly Schwab predicts the clearance in the nation’s fifth-largest TV market will provide further opportunities for “Last Call” on Peacock affils.
“This opens up the NBC affiliates the way ABC and CBS affiliates, along with the independents, have been buying and scheduling ‘Last Call,’ ” Schwab said.
With Columbia recently having picked up distribution rights to “The Newz,” another latenight satirical news strip, other syndicators are also hoping the KRON clearance creates a domino effect among NBC affils.
NBC officials couldn’t be reached for comment, but the web is expected to make a push to keep affiliates in line on “Late Night.” KRON has traditionally been an independent-minded affiliate, championing the push for early primetime on the West Coast.
Schwab said MCA has made latenight deals with other ABC and CBS affils but doesn’t intend to announce them until after the NATPE convention. Col is also holding back on clearance announcements for “The Newz.”
Separately, MCA announced Wednesday that Los Angeles indie KCOP has joined Gotham’s WCBS-TV in clearing “The Suzanne Somers Show” for daytime in the fall.