UPDATED: The bulk of syndicated daytime talk show premiered yesterday, including one of two new talkers, Warner Bros’ Bethenny, which debuted nationwide after a test on several Fox stations in summer 2012. Bethenny, hosted by Bethenny Frankel, opened with a 0.9/3 in households and 0.6/4 in women 25-54. That was in line with the debuts of the two new talk shows last fall that didn’t make it to second season: Jeff Probst (1.0, 0.7) and Ricki Lake (0.8, 0.4). The bright spot for Bethenny was its demo performance, which was up double digits from its lead-in and the time period’s average last September, while the show was down in households. But there was good news for Warner Bros as its other talker Ellen, whose host Ellen DeGeneres also produces Bethenny, topped all syndication talker openers for a second year in a row. Ellen drew a 3.1/8 in households and 1.8/11 in women 25-54. That was up a tenth from last fall’s premiere in HH and down 18% from last year’s all-time high season opener in women 25-54. Compared with last September’s and May’s averages, Ellen was up by double-digits. Katie entered Season 2 with a 2.0/6 in HH and 1.1/7 in women 25-54. That was down 29% in HH and 31% in women 25-54 from the series’ big series premiere last fall but still good enough for second place among the talk show openers in the demo behind Ellen. Dr. Phil (1.8, 0.7) was No. 2 in households with a rerun because of CBS’ US Open coverage and will launch its new season today. Dr. Oz (1.3, 0.6) was down from last year as was The Doctors (0.9, 0.4). Holdover Kelly & Michael (3.0, 1.2), which opened its new season last week, finished neck and neck with Ellen in HH.
CBS Television Distribution announced today that veteran daytime producer Patricia Ciano has been named executive producer of the syndicated daytime strip The Test, which will debut in the fall. The conflict-resolution talk show from Jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Productions is sold in more than 90% of the country, including 49 of the top 50 markets. Ciano joins McGraw and Carla Pennington as EP. Ciano most recently launched and executive produced syndicated talker The Jeremy Kyle Show. Her other producing credits include This Morning With Mike And Juliet, Life & Style, The Ricki Lake Show and The Jenny Jones Show. Ciano won a Daytime Emmy in 2011 as co-executive producer of the court show Judge Pirro. She also was a supervising producer for Judge Hatchett and Judge Lopez from 2006-07. The Test will launch with Tribune Broadcasting’s 17 stations as the anchor group in major markets. Tribune is also a partner in production of the show.
CBS Television Distribution just announced that it has sold The Test, a syndicated daytime strip from Jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Prods and hosted by actor-comedian Kirk Fox, into 56% of the country for a fall 2013 launch.
Tribune Broadcasting is partnering in the production of the show, which is set to launch on 17 Tribune Broadcasting Stations, including in the three largest markets on WPIX New York,; KTLA Los Angeles and WGN Chicago. Overall, the show has been sold in 56% of the country, including seven of the top 10 markets.
Hosted by Fox (Parks And Recreation, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), The Test is a one-hour conflict-resolution talk show that will use lie detector and DNA tests to settle relationship and paternity disputes among guests. “The Test fills a growing niche in daytime television that the audience is really responding to,” said Joe DiSalvo, president of sales at CTD. In addition to Tribune, The Test has been sold to 29 Sinclair Communications stations, among others. Fox is repped by Barry Katz Entertainment.
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.