Meredith Vieira Talker Gets Green Light For '14
Meredith Vieira’s daytime talk show is a "firm go" for fall 2014 broadcast syndication, distributor NBCUniversal is announcing this morning, even though the NBC Owned Television Stations have yet to make a firm commitment to carry the show.
NBCU remains confident that that commitment from the commonly owned NBC O&Os will soon come and that the show will be slotted on all 10 of the group's stations: WNBC New York, KNBC Los Angeles, WMAQ Chicago, WCAU Philadelphia, KXAS Dallas, KNTV San Francisco, WRC Washington D.C., WTVJ Miami, KNSD San Diego, WVIT Hartford, Conn.
Collectively, the stations reach 27% of U.S. TV homes.
While awaiting the NBC O&O handshake, NBCU has been selling the show to station groups.
“I’d expect them to sell the remaining top non-NBC O&O markets probably by Labor Day,” says Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming at Katz Television Group. “I would be surprised if they were not effectively done by the winter holidays.”
In making its pitches, NBCU can show a pilot taped in May in New York City, where the show will be based.
"All of us at NBCU are so excited about this new show with Meredith," said Ted Harbert, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting. "She creates an instant connection with audiences with her smart, quick-witted and down-to-earth style. This entertaining and substantive show will be a great way to reach her loyal daytime fans as well as new ones who will discover why Meredith is one of America's most loved television personalities."
Vieira is the former host of Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and co-host of NBC’s Today and ABC’s The View. Her new light-hearted talk show is expected to serve as a bridge between NBC’s Today in the morning and the syndicated Steve Harvey and Ellen in the afternoon.
Steve Harvey debuted this past season with modest expectations but it became one of the season’s biggest hits. It was recently renewed in most of the country through the 2015-16 season.
Steve’s lead-in gave Ellen a boost. That show just finished its 10th season as the No. 2 daytime talk show among women 25-54. It had a 1.6 rating, up 7% from a year earlier.
Eight of the NBC stations have a hole in their daytime schedules caused by the cancellation of CBS Television Distribution’s Jeff Probst after one season. For the 2013-14 season, Probst’s slots will be occupied by shows including NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood Live and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Starting in fall 2014, Vieira will fill the void.