Peacock reups talkshow for three more years

Ellen DeGeneres has elbowed her way into the upper ranks of syndication as her talkshow has drawn a three-year renewal from NBC’s 10 owned stations through the 2009-10 season.

O&O deal means that Warner Bros. Domestic TV, distributor of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” has cleared the yakker in 70% of the U.S. through 2009-10 and 90% through 2008-09.

NBC and Warner Bros. declined to discuss license fees, but “Ellen” deserves a raise since the show has delivered increases in women 18-49 and 25-54 in each of its three season since it kicked off in fall 2004. Warners didn’t seriously consider other TV stations in the NBC markets because the ratings are solid, and eight of the 10 schedule the show in early fringe (3 to 6 p.m.), with WNBC New York shifting it there next month. (NBC’s WRC Washington may keep it in the morning.)

Time periods are important because Warner Bros. keeps 3½ minutes in each run of “Ellen” to sell to national advertisers; the higher the ratings, the bigger the ad dollars.

The one downside to “Ellen” as the show moves to early fringe from less-competitive morning timeslots is that, in many markets, it will go up against three late-afternoon syndication powerhouses: “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil,” both from King World, and “Judge Judy,” from Paramount TV.

Renewal of “Ellen” was important to NBC because its NBC Universal Domestic TV sibling has yet to come up with a hit syndication talkshow of its own. Martha Stewart’s daytime yakker “Martha” manages only modest Nielsens, and NBC U’s new “Megan Mullally Show” doesn’t premiere until next month. When NBC bought Universal, it inherited the long-running talkshows hosted by Maury Povich and Jerry Springer, both of which continue in firstrun syndication.

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