Katz TV’s programming experts are recommending only one rookie series in firstrun syndication, Warner Bros. TV’s “The Tyra Banks Show,” to their 350 TV-station clients a week before the start of the NATPE convention.
Comparing Banks to Oprah Winfrey, Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for Katz TV, said in his annual pre-NATPE report that Winfrey is “a voice of her generation,” and Warner Bros. is positioning Banks as a voice of the next generation of daytime viewers.
Carroll said affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC should consider “Banks” only for daytime slots (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Affiliates of Fox, the WB and UPN might look to “Banks” for daytime and late afternoon.
For reruns of network sitcoms, Ruth Lee Leaycraft, VP and director of programming for Katz’s Continental division, said stations that bought Buena Vista TV’s “My Wife and Kids” “to freshen existing sitcom blocks” for 2005-06 probably did the right thing.
Similarly, Leaycraft said, Warner Bros./HBO’s “Sex and the City” and Debmar Studios’ “South Park” (off Comedy Central) get recommendations for latenight time periods, starting in September.
Future sitcom reruns on the recommended list are Buena Vista’s “According to Jim” (for fall 2006) and Warner Bros.’ “Two-and-a-Half Men” (for fall 2008).
Despite these endorsements, Leaycraft bemoaned the dearth of potential hits to replace the big four: King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” (now in its fourth year of rerun syndication), Warner Bros.’ “Friends” (sixth year), Sony Pictures TV’s “Seinfeld” (ninth year) and Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” (10th year).
Leaycraft said these four are now averaging a solid 3 household rating but that “age will continue to take its toll” on them.
While sitcoms are suffering “a dry spell,” in her words, the lineup of weekend one-hour reruns looks somewhat better. Greg Conklin, senior programmer of Katz TV, is high on Twentieth TV’s “24” for September. For fall 2006, Conklin likes King World’s “CSI: Miami.” His pick for fall ’07 is Warner Bros.’ “Cold Case,” followed by King World’s “CSI: NY” for fall ’08.