Syndie rides wave of strong lead-ins, Gotham focus

Warner Bros.’ long-running entertainment magazine, “Extra,” appears to be having an extra-good season.

Extra is up 42% among the show’s key demographic, women 25-54, on WNBC New York at 7:30 p.m., while in Chicago it’s improved 63% in that same demo. In households, “Extra” is up 15% year to year across all of its metered markets, second only to CBS Television Distribution’s “Entertainment Tonight,” which has increased 17% year to year.

Most of the time, a syndicated show’s improvement can be attributed to a variety of factors, including time-period upgrades, better lead-ins and occasionally better content, although that last factor is subjective, and hard to measure.

But “Extra” has been playing up its New York coverage, sending anchors Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos to Manhattan each month to host. It has also hired Gotham icon Donald Trump to frequently co-host the show with regular New York-based correspondent A.J. Calloway, and this season the show has broken stories about noted New Yorkers Rosie O’Donnell’s new girlfriend and about Alec Baldwin’s potential run for mayor.

“Extra’s” gains in Chicago go hand in hand with the move of Warner Bros.’ “Ellen” to 3 p.m. on NBC’s WMAQ. “Ellen” is up 50% in its new time period, and that seems to be assisting both “Extra” at 4 p.m. and the station’s local news at 5 p.m.

The one major market where “Extra” isn’t faring so well is on KNBC Los Angeles, where the show has dropped 38% among women 25-54, although it’s up 13% in households in that market.

“Extra” is Los Angeles-based, so it should be appealing to Los Angeles viewers; however, the shows that lead in to “Extra” — “We the People With Gloria Allred” at 2 p.m., “Nate Berkus” at 3 p.m., “Ellen” at 4 p.m., the local news at 5 and 6 p.m., and the “NBC Nightly News” at 6:30 p.m., have all lost viewers in the L.A. market this season, making it unsurprising that “Extra” is following suit.

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