3 hot syndie shows nab upgrades

'Divorce, 'Latifah,'Date' move to more visible slots

Three of the hottest shows in syndication — Twentieth’s “Divorce Court,” Warner Bros.’ “Queen Latifah” and Universal’s “Blind Date” — received strong boosts prior to NATPE with key upgrades from stations across the country.

“Divorce Court,” the top-rated rookie of the year, nailed some early fringe upgrades in Atlanta; San Francisco; Flint, Mich.; Providence; and Cleveland as the program hits the midway point of its premiere season.

Atlanta’s Fox O&O WAGA slated the show in its 4:30 p.m. slot, while Frisco affil KBWB upgraded the show’s double run to 6 p.m.

“More and more, stations are seeing its amazing potential by upgrading the series to more visible time periods,” said Twentieth exec VP and general sales manager Paul Franklin.

“Latifah” has recently caught fire in the ratings, moving from a 1.0 to a 1.7 in the past month and a half.

The talkshow has since pinned down upgrades in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Philly station WTXF has moved the gabber from its 9 a.m. slot to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, NBC affiliate WRC in D.C. shifted the series from 11 a.m. to its new 12 noon home.

Universal’s reality/relationship series “Blind Date” received the support of KCOP Los Angeles, where it will move, effective Jan. 17, from midnight to 11 p.m. Additional upgrades include a shift in Tampa, where WTTA will run back-to-back episodes from 10-11 p.m. Stations Miami, Phoenix and Orlando also made shifts.

“People really see the value in the show,” said Matt Cooperstein, senior veep of domestic TV syndication at Universal Worldwide TV. “The timeslot upgrades that we’re seeing only go to reaffirm their confidence.”

The top-rated Twentieth Television’s “Divorce Court” has extra reason to celebrate the new year after receiving upgrades in several key markets. Fox’s owned-and-operated stations WAGA Atlanta and WJW Cleveland are moving the syndie strip into 4:30 p.m. timeslots formerly occupied by “Jerry Springer” and “Rosie O’Donnell,” respectively.

Other stations upgrading “Divorce Court” include WB affiliates KBWB San Francisco and WLWC Providence, R.I., and CBS affil WNEM Flint, Mich.

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