Daytime queen Judy Sheindlin is expanding her footprint with a second syndicated court show. Hot Bench, created by Sheindlin, is set to launch in the fall with clearances in 75% of the country. It hails from CBS TV Distribution, which is behind Sheindlin’s top-rated Judge Judy and has a deal with her. This marks the first time Sheindlin has created a show. Hot Bench has been sold to the CBS Television Stations and stations from Tribune, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group and Meredith Corp, among others. The strip will air mostly in afternoon and early-fringe time periods. “Judy Sheindlin has been a very important part of the CBS family for many years, and everyone at our company is excited to launch this new show and bring Judy’s creative vision to the air,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group. Hot Bench, executive produced by Judge Judy exec producer/director Randy Douthit, features a panel of three judges (Judge Patricia DiMango and attorneys Tanya Acker and Larry Bakman) hearing court cases, arguing the merits of the case amongst themselves and rendering a verdict. (The term “hot bench” is used to describe a court where the judge or judges frequently interrupt lawyers’ presentations with questions, often leading to lively exchanges.) “When my husband Jerry and I were in Ireland recently, we visited the courts and watched a three-judge bench, which I found both fascinating and compelling,” Sheindlin said. “I immediately thought what a terrific and unique idea for a television program that brings the court genre to the next level.” Here is more info on the show’s stars:
Three months after Warner Bros TV brought in former Fox reality chief Mike Darnell in a broad unscripted/alternative role that includes overseeing first-run syndication division Telepictures Prods, Telepictures president Hilary Estey McLoughlin has jumped to rival CBS TV Distribution as President, Creative Affairs. There, she will report to Armando Nuñez, President and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group. McLoughlin, a 27-year Telepictures veteran who had headed the company since 2006, quietly stepped down immediately after Darnell’s appointment was announced in July. I hear she was offered a producing deal at the studio but declined. Estey McLoughlin is bringing a top-level first-run syndication expertise to CBSTVD, which has been lacking since the departure of CBSTVD president John Nogawski a year ago when CBS Studios International president Nuñez was given the reins of the division. At Telepictures, Estey McLoughlin shepherded such shows as Ellen and TMZ. At CBSTVD she will oversee all first-run syndication programming, including current series and development. “Hilary is a gifted and forward-thinking executive with an outstanding resume of success for identifying and nurturing talent, as well as launching successful shows in syndication,” said Nuñez. The company’s current slate includes freshmen Arsenio and The Test and stalwarts Judge Judy, Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil, Wheel Of Fortune, Jeopardy! and Rachael Ray. Next up is Serch, a syndicated daytime hourlong talk show hosted by 1980s rapper MC Serch, which will begin a …
The former SVP Creative and Development at World Wrestling Entertainment has joined CBS TV Distribution to develop first-run syndicated programming and oversee current shows, the syndie division said today. As SVP Programming and Development, Eric Pankowski will report to EVP Maureen FitzPatrick, and he’ll oversee Arsenio Hall‘s return to the late-night talk circuit in the fall. At WWE, Pankowski oversaw creative on shows for USA, Syfy, the CW, and Ion. Before that he developed projects for first-run syndication and network primetime as SVP at Reveille/Shine Group and launched paraMedia inc.’s Lopez Tonight. He also served as Director of Current Programming at Telepictures Productions, working on programs including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Judge Mathis, and Street Smarts.
Judy Sheindlin, host of top-rated daytime show Judge Judy, has signed a new multiyear deal with CBS TV Distribution to continue on the show through 2017. Her previous pact, signed in 2011, went through 2015. The new contract will bring Judge Judy‘s seasons on the air to 21. The show, now in its 17th season, averages more than 9 million daily viewers. Judge Judy has been the top-rated half-hour syndicated court show since its debut nearly 17 years ago on September 16, 1996 (860 consecutive weeks), and has ranked as the No. 1-rated daytime show for the past three seasons. Randy Douthit is executive producer and director.
CBS TV Distribution‘s long-running syndicated court show Judge Joe Brown will end its 15-year run at the end of this season. “Judge Joe Brown will not be returning for another season. We would like to thank Joe for 15 great years, as well as executive producer John Terenzio and the entire staff for all their hard work and dedication to the show,” a CBSTVD spokesperson said. The decision comes following a recent report of a contract renegotiation dispute between CBSTVD and Brown. The departure will free up a half-hour on the stations that carry the court show, including the Fox stations.
The other shoe has dropped — following Twentieth Television’s decision last week not to renew the Ricki Lake Show, CBS TV Distribution today said that its struggling freshman syndicated talker The Jeff Probst Show will not be retuning for the 2013-2014 season. Original episodes will continue to air through the end of the season. “We believe Jeff is an incredible talent, and that he and his dedicated producing team delivered quality episodes throughout the season. Unfortunately, the audience isn’t there to support a second year. We are grateful to the entire staff, our affiliate partners and advertisers for their ongoing support of The Jeff Probst Show,” a CTD spokesperson said. Added Probst, “I’m super bummed but extremely proud. The truth is all shows come to an end. Ours just ended a decade sooner than we had hoped.” Probst continues of course as longtime host of CBS’ Survivor, which premieres its 26th installment tonight.
With NBCUniversal’s talk show hosted by comedian Steve Harvey emerging as the sleeper syndication talker hit this season, CBS TV Distribution, which struck out with The Jeff Probst Show, is betting on a first-run show starring another comedian for next fall. The company will be rolling out The Test, a syndicated alternative talk show hosted by Kirk Fox (Parks & Recreation) after clearing it in a majority of the country with Tribune as a launch station group. The Test, produced by Jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Prods. and distributed by CBSTD, will resolve disputes with the help of DNA and lie detector tests whose results will be revealed on the show. Production is slated to begin in the next several months. The Test was one of two syndicated shows built around DNA testing that were developed for next fall, along with MGM Television’s Paternity Court.
Here is an exclusive look at the first spot for The Jeff Probst Show, CBS TV Distribution’s upcoming daytime syndicated talk show hosted by the Survivor star. In the spot, which affiliate TV stations will begin airing later this week, Probst refers to his stint on Survivor, which has hosted for 24 cycles and will continue to do so alongside his new full-time job. The Jeff Probst Show, executive produced by Amy Coleman (The Oprah Winfrey Show), launches in the fall.
I’ve learned that CBS TV Distribution is finalizing a deal with Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentiis to develop a syndicated daytime talk show for Fall 2013. The talker is expected to be in the vein of Live With Regis & Kelly and also air live. Shane Farley (Rachael Ray) will executive produce. This is the second high-profile syndicated talk show in the works for fall 2013. Sony TV is working on a show hosted by Queen Latifah and co-produced by Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.
Flay and DeLaurentiis, granddaughter of veteran film producer Dino DeLaurentiis, each have their own shows on Food Network, and both were recently nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards, Flay for Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction and DeLaurentiis for Giada at Home. DeLaurentiis’ show actually scored the most Emmy noms for a culinary program, 5, followed by the most popular food-themed talk show over the past few years, Rachael Ray, which also hails from CBS TV Distribution.
Talks about Flay and de Laurentiis pairing for a syndicated daytime talk show first surfaced at the beginning of the year. The two have been working together as judges on Food Network’s flagship Food Network Star competition reality series series and last week they appeared together in a segment on the Today show (video below). In addition to his TV chef career, Flay is a well known New York restaurateur. The Flay-de Laurentiis show was sold by WME, which reps the duo and Farley. CBS TV Distribution declined comment.
Back in the headlines after his recent Celebrity Apprentice win, Arsenio Hall is mulling a return to the late-night syndicated talk show circuit. I hear Hall has been in talks with CBS TV Distribution about a project that also may involve Tribune. There are no deals in place but if conversations materialize, Hall will likely film a presentation. CBS TV Distribution declined comment. Immediately following his Celebrity Apprentice victory a week ago, Hall spoke publicly of his desire to return to television in a more permanent fashion. A deal with CBS TV Distribution would mark a reunion for the company and Hall. His syndicated late-night Arsenio Hall Show, which ran from 1989 to 1994, was produced by CBS TV Distribution predecessor Paramount Domestic TV.
20th Century Fox TV PR executive Tracey Raab has joined CBS TV Distribution as VP Communications. She will oversee publicity for the company’s flagship entertainment newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight and its offshoot The Insider. She will report to John Wentworth, EVP Communications, CTD. Raab most recently was Executive Director of Media Relations for 20th TV, overseeing publicity and marketing campaigns for such primetime series as Modern Family, Last Man Standing and Sons Of Anarchy. Last month she won a Publicist Guild Award for her work on the Modern Family publicity campaign. This marks Raab’s return to the CBS family. Before 20th TV, she worked as a senior publicist at CBS.
With Hot In Cleveland amassing a staggering 54-episode order in only 8 months, the sitcom starring Betty White is headed to syndication. CBS TV Distribution has closed a deal to acquire the exclusive broadcast domestic distribution rights for TV Land’s sitcom. The deal had been in the works since the summer, with CTD already informally shopping the show to potential buyers. Hot In Cleveland recently posted its lowest-rated season premiere but continues to be TV Land’s flagship series.
This is an odd pairing — Don Draper and Horatio Caine will now be on the same network! In its first off-network acquisition, AMC, home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, has picked up off-network rights to CBS’ veteran procedural CSI: Miami. The deal with CBS Television Distribution, said to be worth tens of millions of dollars, covers the existing 10 seasons of CSI: Miami as well as Seasons 11 and 12 if produced. (Today’s deal certainly increases the chances of the show continuing on CBS beyond the current 10th season). With the exception of Seasons 11 and 12, which AMC would get exclusively, the pact is non-exclusive. A&E, which had been the exclusive cable home of CSI: Miami, will continue to air the show from 6 AM-4 PM. AMC is getting fringe and primetime rights with a 4 PM-6 AM window. The drama starring David Caruso will make its debut on AMC on January 2 at 5 PM and will air in the hour Monday through Friday.
CSI: Miami has strong brand recognition as part of the hugely popular CSI franchise and is one of the most-watched series in the world. As a procedural, it also is highly repeatable, which is key for cable networks looking for ways to enhance their lineups. As an hourlong, CSI: Maimi also will give AMC flexibility scheduling-wise. So far, the network has been able to complement its original series only with …
I hear that CBS TV Distribution’s syndicated daily talk show hosted by Survivor‘s Jeff Probst is close to a deal with the NBC owned and operated stations, effectively clearing the strip for a fall 2012 launch. The show, which will cover mostly relationship and human interest topics, had been competing with 2 other syndicated talk show hopefuls, Twentieth’s Ricki Lake and Warner Bros’ Bethenny Frankel, for a spot on the NBC O&Os. The acquisition does not affect Sony TV’s Nate Berkus Show, which has a deal with the NBC stations though next season. In addition to Jeff Probst, the 10 NBC O&O will also serve as the launch group for the new Steve Harvey talk show next fall. Meanwhile, station clearances would rule out Probst, a frequent substitute guest host on Live! With Regis And Kelly, as a possible successor to departing Regis Pilbin. This would mark CBS TV Distribution’s first first-run syndication launch since The Doctors.