Warner Bros.’ “Love Connection” next fall will split from KCAL-TV, its longtime companion in Los Angeles, for an access rendezvous with KCBS-TV.
The distrib also announced access renewals for the pioneering relationship series on WNBC-TV in N.Y. and KTVU in S.F.
With the addition of “Connection,” KCBS will have two other possibilities for access next fall: Genesis Entertainment’s “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol”– which tested well during a two-week on-air test last month — or a half-hour off-net version of MTM Distribution’s “Rescue 911.”
MTM is leaving it up to stations to determine if “Rescue 911” qualifies as a documentary, a form of programming that is exempt from the prime time access rule. PTAR bars affils in top-50 markets from airing off-net prime time fare from 7-8 p.m.
The O&O also has All American Television’s “Family Feud” for access, but the game show isn’t exactly burning up the ratings landscape.
Scott Carlin, senior VP of sales for WB’s domestic television distribution wing, noted the shift of “Love Connection” to a new station was prompted in part by KCAL’s recent 6-8 p.m. programming acquisitions.
He said the Disney-owned indie appears to be moving toward news and information programming in the critical daypart. KCAL has licensed King World’s “American Journal” magazine for next fall to pair with the syndicator’s “Inside Edition” and a local 6:30 p.m. newscast. The station has also acquired “Empty Nest,” which would likely play at 6 p.m.
Appearing at 6 p.m. on KCAL, “Love Connection” earned a 3.3 rating/6 share in Nielsen and a 3.1/5 in Arbitron during the November sweeps. In November ’91, the program appeared at 7 p.m. and fetched a 5.3/8 in Nielsen and a 5.5/9 in Arbitron. The decade-old “Love Connection” will face tough competition in access from shows that receive heavy promotional dollars from syndicators, but Carlin noted that “Connection” has proven it is a survivor.