The Scramble Begins To Fill 'Probst' Slots
NBC Owned Television Stations President Valari Staab isn’t talking about how the station group will replace Jeff Probst now that syndicator CBS Television Distribution has canceled it. But a spokeswoman for NBC Owned Television Stations said that Probst’s daytime slots will likely go to a combination of NBCU’s Access Hollywood Live, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Warner Bros.’ Bethenny and Sony Pictures Television’s Queen Latifah, although she cautioned that schedules and timeslots are still being finalized for the fall.
NBC airs Probst on eight of its 10 stations and is thought to be in line for a fall 2014 NBCU talk show with Meredith Vieira, if that comes together. But that leaves a big hole in fall 2013 on NBC O&Os like WNBC New York and KNBC Los Angeles, where Probst is the lead-in to hits NBCU’s Steve Harvey and Warner Bros.’ Ellen.
Those holes will start to fill up fast.
Bethenny, which is cleared in big markets on Fox stations, will likely replace Probst on NBC’s KNTV San Francisco at 2 p.m. where it’s the lead-in to Harvey and Ellen. The station has picked up Bethenny but has not yet announced its plans for Probst’s slot.
Latifah, which is cleared in major markets on CBS Television Stations, is expected to take Probst’s 2 p.m. time slot on WVIT Hartford, Conn.
Some non-NBC-owned stations will also replace Probst with Latifah, including Scripps’ NBC affiliate WPTV West Palm Beach, Fla., at 3 p.m.
NBCU’s Access Hollywood Live, now in its third season and currently airing in about a quarter of the U.S., will likely add additional NBC Owned, Fox and Hearst stations in the fall.
Meantime, Disney-ABC’s Millionaire airs on ABC-owned stations in major markets. But it doesn’t own stations in some of the NBC-owned markets. Meredith Vieira is leaving Millionaire and there has been speculation that Cedric the Entertainer will replace her, but Disney-ABC has not officially announced a new host.
Survivor host Jeff Probst debuted his daytime show last fall as something of a modern-day Phil Donahue Show, where he got out into the audience to get their take on topics. The show never took off, though. In the week ending Feb. 3, it ranked near the bottom of syndicated talk shows with a 0.7 household rating and a 0.4 women 25-54 rating.