The long-running syndicated newsmagazine “Extra” is moving from the NBC-owned station group to Fox-owned stations in five top markets.
Fox Television Stations has cut a deal with “Extra” distributor Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to acquire the entertainment-focused half-hour strip in seven major markets — including New York and Los Angeles — starting in fall 2019. The move leaves an opening at the NBC O&Os in the hour leading in to primetime.
“Extra” has been a staple on the NBC O&Os since its debut in 1994 but a knowledgable source indicated the NBC group declined to renew the show, which has seen ratings declines in recent years along with most daytime and evening syndicated fare.
At the same time, Fox’s O&O group has been aggressive in recent months in going after established syndicated franchises as its parent company prepares for a new era following the sale of the 20th Century Fox studio and other entertainment assets to Disney. Fox made a big play earlier this year for “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” in major markets, but distributor CBS Television Distribution ultimately cut a deal to keep those game shows on the incumbent ABC O&Os in top markets.
“This deal is a win-win for two companies with a strong history together. ‘Extra’ fits right into our day and date strategy and the stations will be ready to ensure its continued success,” said Frank Cicha, senior VP of programming for Fox Television Stations. “While it’s targeted primarily for big time periods, it can run all over the place and we’ll take advantage of that. And there will be great opportunities to work with our news departments as well.”
WBDTD president Ken Werner praised Fox for being “at the forefront of successfully meeting the challenges of the television environment by creating destinations in their local communities for live compelling programming.”
NBC was mum about its plans for the 7 p.m. time slot in New York and L.A. as well as three other top 10 markets: Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco.
“We have not finalized our fall 2019 evening programming yet,” said a spokeswoman for the NBC O&Os. “We will make an announcement about our new evening programming soon.”