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.
EXCLUSIVE: Layoffs are always tough, especially when they come just before the holidays. That is what’s happening on struggling freshman syndicated talk show Jeff Probst where several staffers, including producers received pink slips today. I hear some or all of the layoffs came with a week notice, with Dec. 21 as the last day of work. “As with most new shows, we had beefed up our production team for launch, and are now settling into a more appropriate staffing level for a daily talk show,” a spokesperson for the show said.
CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst got to a slow start, averaging a 0.8 household rating during premiere week. It never gained momentum, finishing the recent November sweep tied with Ricki Lake as the lowest rated freshman talk shows with a 0.7 HH rating.
UPDATE, 12 PM: The numbers for all of yesterday’s daytime syndicated talk shows are in. Not surprisingly, the 10th-season premiere of Ellen featuring guests Patrick Dempsey, Pink and the Fierce Five, came up on top with a 3.0 household rating/8 share in the metered markets, 50% time period improvement vs. last year, and a 2.2/12 in women 25-54, the highest-ever demo number for an Ellen season premiere. Kelly & Michael (2.9 HH, 1.7 W25-54) was second, followed by the fourth-season premiere of Dr. Oz (2.8, 1.6) and Katie (2.8, 1.6). Dr. Oz was No. 1 in cumed household ratings. Ricki Lake (0.8, 0.4) was dead last among all new and returning talk shows, with Jeff Probst (1.0, 0.7) doing only a little better. Yesterday’s rankings should carry an asterisk as top talk show Dr. Phil was a repeat and will launch its new season today.
PREVIOUS 8 AM: Katie Couric‘s new syndicated talk show Katie got off to a strong start yesterday with a 2.8 household rating/8 share in the 56 U.S. metered markets to lead the pack of new daytime talk shows by a large margin. It equaled the highest daytime talk show opener in the last decade, Rachael Ray, in 2006 (2.8), the best premiere since Dr. Phil‘s 5.2 rating in September 2002. Katie, which featured guest Jessica Simpson, built on its lead-in by 12% and improved its time period year-to-year by 22%. (The show replaced soap General Hospital in about half of the country, with the soap now serving as its lead-in.)
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Survivor host and newlywed Jeff Probst will be add a new title to his resume: talk show host. His syndicated The Jeff Probst Show enters the chat fray on September 10, along with fellow newcomers Ricki Lake, Steve Harvey and Katie Couric. The Probst effort comes from CBS Television Distribution. And during a panel this afternoon at TCA featuring the perpetually energetic and upbeat Probst and his exec producer Amy Coleman, he detailed how his new daytime talker won’t be about celebrities or conflict. “If you’re looking for Jerry (Springer) or Maury (Povich), this isn’t your show”, he said. “We aren’t looking for people fighting onstage or paternity testing. If you’re looking for something new, that’s where we are.” He added that his defining role models for the new gig are Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. “My best skill as an interviewer is, I really listen,” Probst noted, “I would never ask a guest a question that I wouldn’t be prepared to answer myself.” He lated added “I’m not going to chase a rating. I just want to do a show that I’m really and truly invested in.”
Longtime TV executive Valerie Schaer has been hired as EVP Creative Affairs at NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution, where she will be responsible for development of original programming and oversee the division’s current first-run programming. That includes new fall-bowing daytime shows Steve Harvey and Trisha Goddard, and she will also work with NBCU’s Owned Television Stations group on Jeff Probst’s new daytime talker. Schaer most recently was at Harpo Productions, where she oversaw syndicated programming like Dr Oz and helped launch The Nate Berkus Show. She also helped launch The View in 1996 while at ABC. From 1999-2003, Schaer was EVP Programming and Development at Universal Domestic Television, where she supervised syndicated shows like Crossing Over With John Edward and the Dick Wolf reality series Arrest And Trial.
Survivor‘s Jeff Probst is moving forward with his sophomore feature directing effort, Kiss Me. It begins shooting next month in Los Angeles, CNN reports. Already set to star in the coming-of-age story about a girl going “through the physical and emotional growing pains of her teen years” are John Corbett (Sex And The City) and Sarah Bolger (In America). In 2002, Probst wrote and directed Finder’s Fee with Ryan Reynolds and James Earl Jones. Probst is also set to host a syndicated daytime talk show next fall.
Amy Coleman, formerly supervising producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, has been hired as executive producer of the upcoming syndicated talk show Jeff Probst. CBS Television Distribution’s new first-run talker starring the Survivor host, already cleared in 80% of the country, is set to debut in the fall. Coleman spent 16 years at Oprah and was a consulting producer on the Probst pilot.
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.
ANALYSIS: Newcomer ‘Boardwalk Empire’, Comeback Kid ‘Futurama’, Justin Timberlake & Jeff Probst Rule The Creative Emmys
2011 Creative Emmys Winners, 2011 Creative Emmys By The Numbers
The top of the standings at the Creative Emmy Awards tonight looked familiar: HBO leading the network pack with most wins, 15, and an HBO program scoring the most wins. But there was a mild surprise on the show rankings side. The rule of thumb is that the program that scores the most Emmy nominations — almost always a longform project — usually bags the most trophies at the Creative Emmys. (Last year, it was HBO’s mega-mini The Pacific.) This year, another HBO mini, Mildred Pierce, landed the most Emmy noms, 21, but did not leave with the most trophies tonight. That honor went to HBO’s new drama series Boardwalk Empire, which, with its elaborate sets and period setting, dominated the field with 7 Emmys. Meanwhile, Mildred Pierce landed 3 Emmys, as much as The Kennedys and just one more than Downton Abbey. (All three are nominated for best TV movie or miniseries.) This could be a sign that the race in the top longform category, already made more competitive by merging TV movies and minis this year, may get even tighter.
Boardwalk Empire was not the only rookie to make a solid entrance into the Emmy circle. Fledgeling cable channel ReelzChannel, which this year is taking over from E! as the broadcaster of the Creative Emmys, landed its first 3 Emmy Awards tonight for its first original program, …
CBS is staying in the Jeff Probst business. Syndication arm CBS Television Distribution has signed the Emmy-winning host of Survivor to develop a first-run talk show set to debut in fall 2012. The one-hour talker will cover topics ranging from newsmakers of the day to families and individuals facing challenges. “There’s no one else in daytime TV like Jeff Probst. He is interested in finding the answers to the same questions our audience is asking, which makes him relatable to both women and men,” CTD president John Nogawski said. “Jeff’s unique perspective and curiosity about human nature, combined with our track record of success with the #1 and #2 talk shows for years, is going to make this show a must buy for the Fall of 2012. We are thrilled to be working on Jeff’s next success story and drawing from his experience on the hit prime-time show Survivor.” Probst has filled in for Regis Philbin on Live With Regis and Kelly, and he was a regular guest host on Larry King Live. ”I’m fascinated with human nature and thrilled that this show will allow me the opportunity to connect with real people and explore their stories on a personal level,” he said. “As I continue with Survivor, I am excited to extend my relationship with CBS with this new adventure in the world of daytime.”
CBS has renewed its flagship reality series Survivor for next season, ordering two more editions of the show, its 23rd and 24th. Additionally, Jeff Probst has signed a new deal to continue as host and an executive producer. This season, Survivor moved from its original Thursday time period to Wednesdays, helping the network shore up the Wednesday 8 PM slot. Mark Burnett, Probst and David Burris are executive producing.