Fox Stations Buy Warner Bros.' 'Bethenny'
Warner Bros. now out selling show to rest of country
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/24/2012 12:28:14 PM
Warner Bros.' has sold Bethenny, its new talk show starring Real Housewives' Bethenny Frankel, to the Fox Television Stations for a 2013 launch.
The show will premiere on 17 Fox owned stations, including WNYW New York, KTTV Los Angeles, WTXF Philadelphia, KDFW Dallas, KSAZ Phoenix and KMSP Minneapolis.
"This is what can happen if you put something different in daytime -- the ratings prove it," said Frank Cicha, senior VP of programming for the Fox Television Stations, in a statement. "Throughout this test, the Bethenny program pushed boundaries, overhauling traditional talk topics with an energy and freshness we haven't seen in a long time. Congrats to Bethenny Frankel and the entire Warner Bros. team for playing like winners on this one."
Over the summer, Fox tested Bethenny over six weeks in six markets: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Phoenix and Minneapolis. Across all six markets, the show improved May 2012 time periods by 80% among women 25-54 and by 100% among adults 25-54, and ranging from a 22% increase in Philadelphia to a 100% upswing in Dallas to a high of 250% in Los Angeles, according to Warner Bros.
Fox agreed to test Bethenny over the summer after Warner Bros. wasn't able to sell the show in last fall's syndication derby, with NBC picking up its own Steve Harvey and CBS Television Distribution's Jeff Probst for its time slots, and Fox and Tribune placing their 2012 bet on the return of Ricki Lake. After the test, Fox was immediately interested in keeping the show on the air, but financial considerations require Warner Bros. to take the show out nationally before it can return to the air. With the Fox deal closed, Warner Bros. is now selling the show in the rest of the country to debut next September.
"This summer's test proves Bethenny has a distinctive unique appeal that woman flock to," said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, in a statement. "No matter the time period or city, with no off-air support, and in the middle of the summer, daytime viewers made Bethenny Frankel appointment TV."
Bethenny will be produced by Telepictures Productions and A Very Good Production, Ellen DeGeneres' production company.
It remains to be seen on how the 2012-13 syndicated fanfare goes. I definitely see Katie Couric and Dish Nation coming next September... not so sure about Jeff Probst... and the jury may be still be out on Ricki Lake and Steve Harvey, and a couple other newbies.
The 17 Fox O&O markets were first to get Bethenny's new show. I could see 4 NBC O&O markets (San Francisco, Miami, San Diego, and Connecticut) being second to get her show. Other groups, like Gannett, Tribune, Meredith, Belo, and others having interest in her show.
Eric - 9/24/2012 2:03:54 PM EDT
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