Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MGM/Weigel's This TV Cleared for More Stations; NATPE 2009 Day 1 Update; ION Television Sees Ratings Growth

On the opening day of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference (NATPE), MGM Domestic Television (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting announced key stations from Tribune Broadcasting Company have been added as new affiliates for "This TV," the new digital service featuring hit movies and TV series from the expansive and treasured MGM library. TV series include Mister Ed and The Patty Duke Show. The clearance level is now over 60% of the country. New stations include the digital feeds of the following: Tribune's KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WDCW-TV (Washington D.C.), WTIC-TV/WTXX (Hartford) and WGNO/WNOL (New Orleans) as well as Sunbeam's WHDH (Boston). The digital network has also added 15 additional stations from Raycom, including WUAB (Cleveland), WXIX (Cincinnati), WMC (Memphis), WAVE (Louisville), and WNTZ (Knoxville). In addition, Quincy Newspapers, Inc. affiliates: WKOW (Madison), KWWL (Cedar Rapids), WSJV (South Bend), and WAOW (Wausau).
If you're in those markets, check those affiliates' digital subchannels to see if This TV has already launched. They are expected to launch immediately, if they haven't already.

In other NATPE news, Disney-ABC's Legend of the Seeker will return for a second season next season and CBS Television Distribution's Star Trek: The Next Generation will return to syndication this fall airing mostly weekdays in the late nights. Star Trek: The Next Generation will air on top Tribune stations, and has already been bought by WGN America on cable, which they started airing last week. Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories will return for a second season in syndication. It mostly airs on the weekends in many markets and allows TV stations to incorporate local weather talent and news into the show. Litton's first-run series Street Court, starring Michael "Judge Mazz" Mazzariello, is a firm go for fall 2009, with 65% of the country cleared, including WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
View the full list of shows being offered for stations to buy. Now this doesn't mean they will air next fall, but this is what is being offered for 2009-10 in syndication. We will have a better idea what is confirmed and a firm go by the end of NATPE. For example, first-run talk show Marie is not yet a firm go, but Street Court, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are firm gos. Judge Jeanine Pirro is entering first-run syndication for its second season coming off its run on The CW Daytime however it is not a firm go yet, while Tyra Banks Show will leave syndication and move to The CW Daytime.
Other series leaving syndication: Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Sony Pictures Television's Judge David Young and Judge Karen. They are all canceled and will not return. A few other shows are also almost dead, such as Twentieth's third-year series Cristina's Court. The Doctors has been confirmed it will return next season, and some of the other series expected to come back are Deal Or No Deal, Family Court With Judge Penny, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, though all of those have not done exceptional in the ratings.
We will keep you up to date of more clearances, especially the off-network reruns such as Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, My Name is Earl, Bones, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The E! True Hollywood Story. Check out the offer list above!

ION Television ended 2008 with significant growth in primetime viewership, including marked growth in the adults 25-54 and 18-49 demos. ION TV's primetime household viewership has grown 67%, jumping from a 0.3 to 0.5 household rating, since the introduction of the network's new, robust slate of critically acclaimed off-net series in September. This viewership growth has well positioned ION TV as one of the fastest growing entertainment networks, up 26% among adults 18-49, ranking second, and up 25% among adults 25-54, ranking third, of all major broadcast and cable networks, in a year over year growth comparison.
View the full press release.

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