Syndies yanking tanking yakkers

NEW ORLEANS – Although Warner Bros.’ ”The Rosie O’Donnell Show” has breathed new life into the talk genre, at least two veteran talkshows and most of the season’s freshman crop will not be returning for another year.

Industry sources say King World’s ”Rolonda” and Twentieth TV’s ”The Gordon Elliott Show” are not actively being renewed at the convention and will not be returning.

While Twentieth TV president Rick Jacobson denied that ”Gordon Elliott” is being canceled, there was no sign that the show was even a part of Twentieth TV’s lineup at the NATPE booth, and station sources say show producer Eyemark has informed some staffers that it will be ceasing production soon.

”Rolonda” will air for the rest of the season, but a source close to the production confirmed it won’t be back next year. King World’s official stance is that a final decision will be made after the February sweeps.

”Gordon” and ”Rolonda” are the two lowest-rated veteran talkers this season, although ”Gordon’s” numbers have improved since his recent upgrades on some CBS stations after ”Day & Date” went off the air.

Aside from ”Rolonda,” KW also handles sales for Tribune Entertainment’s ”Geraldo,” and sources say the syndicator is attempting to sell the strip to the CBS stations that don’t air it now, perhaps in place of ”Gordon.” It’s unclear whether CBS will cut such a deal or whether it will want Eyemark to develop something inhouse.

Mort la ‘Difference’

Three freshman shows – ”Pat Bullard,” ”Scoop” and ”The Bradshaw Difference” – have already been canceled, and sources say another, ”Maureen O’Boyle,” is also on very shaky ground.

The NBC O&Os will be airing Warner Bros.’ ”The People’s Court” in its place, and Warner Bros. has not renewed the show or made new sales in those markets. Like KW, WB’s official stance is that a decision will be made after the February sweeps.

At least one relatively new talkshow has a chance of returning: Universal’s ”Crook & Chase,” which Universal is trying to slip into as many ”Pat Bullard” slots as possible. So far, new sales, all at 9 a.m., include WAVE Louisville, Ky.; WCPX Orlando, Fla.; WKRG Mobile, Ala.; and WMAZ Macon, Ga.

Renewing it are KVUE Austin, Texas; WCNC Charlotte, N.C.; and KIMO Anchorage, Alaska, which signed on for two more years.

All American’s new talker ”Arthel & Fred” also has posted clearances totaling 52%. Aside from its sales in the top three markets, stations buying it include WTKT Miami, KTVT Dallas, WRTV Indianapolis, WVUE New Orleans, KGTV San Diego, WCCB Charlotte and WVTM Birmingham, its third NBC O&O.

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