No surprise here — Twentieth Television just announced that its struggling freshman syndicated talker The Ricki Lake Show will not be renewed for the 2013-2014 season. Original episodes will continue to air through the end of the season. Along with CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake never found an audience to support it in the long run as the two faced a glut of new talk shows last fall. A similar announcement for Jeff Probst should be coming soon. “While we are proud of the topics the program tackled including childhood obesity, life-after the military, divorce, and addiction we were simply not able to breakthrough the crowded talk show marketplace,” Stephen Brown, Twentieth TV’s EVP of programming & development said.
While Ricki Lake was a disappointment, Twentieth TV did well with freshman syndicated strip Dish Nation, which was recently renewed for a second season after scoring well with young demos. And the company just struck a deal for a summer test run of a Kris Jenner daily talk show on Fox stations this summer. “I am so proud of the shows we completed this season, sparking important conversations about everything from raising children to mental illness to suicide prevention to coming out,” Lake said. “I will continue to be an active and passionate voice for subjects that are close to my heart through a variety of platforms — and a return to my documentary filmmaking … Read More »
Gail Steinberg, who was the co-creator and EP on Ricki Lake’s original talk show during the 1990s, is returning to become executive producer of the freshman talker The Ricki Lake Show, effective immediately. Lisa Kridos, who was EP, is exiting to become a programming and development producer for the show’s distributor Twentieth Television. Steinberg is currently EP of Divorce Court, daytime’s longest-running court show, and was a consultant and co-produced this year’s Ricki Lake pilot. “Gail will usher in a fresh perspective bringing in an added relevancy, fun and energy to each episode, while showcasing compelling viewpoints to the female focused topics that remain at the core of the new Ricki Lake Show,” Twentieth EVP Programming and Development Stephen Brown said. Ricki Lake has gotten off to a slow ratings start among the freshman pack of daytime talkers, owning partly to a Tribune-Cablevision carriage dispute that has affected 40% of New York households.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Fresh from her second marriage (in April) and a monthlong honeymoon in Spain, Ricki Lake met the critics at TCA in advance of her second go-around in the syndicated daytime talk wars. Twentieth TV’s The Ricki Lake Show joins the battle on September 10, cleared in 99.5% of the country. She’ll be entering a crowded chat market that includes fellow newcomers Katie Couric, Jeff Probst and Steve Harvey. Unlike those three, Lake has been down this road before, having had a mega-successful 11-year run (1993-2004) with her previous daytime talker. Lake began that one at the tender age of 24. Now she’s 43, hardened by life, once-divorced and the mother to two school-age kids. “I really want lightning to strike twice,” Lake said during a lunch panel. “There’s a lot of pressure, a lot of money invested in this show. But I feel like I have more to offer this time. Last time, I was just trying to be Oprah. This time, I’m wiser and more evolved.” Read More »