HOLLYWOOD — NBC Enterprises has renewed its rookie yakker “The Other Half” in nine of the top 10 markets, including New York and Los Angeles, representing 78% of the U.S.

For a while, with 1.0-range Nielsen household ratings, it appeared unlikely that the strip would secure a second season.

But after word got out last month that two major station groups, Gannett and Hearst-Argyle, signed on for the show’s return (Daily Variety, April 7), chances looked better for its survival into the fall season.

In its regularly scheduled time periods during February sweeps, “Other Half” did track 13% better than what those timeslots were averaging in February 2001.

Several of the NBC O&Os will have to sked “Other Half” in latenight come September to make room for fresh 2002 daytime efforts, including Paramount’s “Life Moments” and NBC’s own “The John Walsh Show.” It’s thought that “Other Half” can always slip back into more desirable timeslots if new strips don’t work out.

Others reupping with “The Other Half,” a male spin on ABC’s “The View” headlined by Dick Clark, include outlets from the Belo, Emmis Communications and LIN Television station groups.