Women Love 'Danza’
Rookie talk show is renewed
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/9/2005 7:00:00 PM
The Tony Danza Show will return for a second year. With renewals on the ABC O&Os, Buena Vista’s new talk show is holding steady. In addition, Buena Vista has sold it to the Gannett, Belo, Tribune, Cox, Raycom, Hearst-Argyle and Sinclair station groups. So far, the show is cleared in 90 markets for year two, on more than 60% of the country.
“Tony has built up lots of goodwill with women,” says John Bryan, EVP of sales for Buena Vista Television. “They grew up with him on Who’s the Boss and Taxi.” In fact, Danza performs best among the key daytime demo women 25-54, earning the highest share in the demographic among all rookie first-run strips, according to Lloyd Komesar, Buena Vista’s EVP of strategic research. Since the show’s September launch, Danza has grown 17% among households, 14% among women 25-54 and 17% among women 18-49.
The caveat is the ratings, says Garnett Losak, VP, director of programming for Petry Media Corp. “Strictly based on the numbers, Danza’s performance is moderate. But stations are happy with the content and its look.” Losak believes stations don’t want to rebuild time periods if a program shows momentum. “Churning time periods doesn’t have value,” she says, “unless a show carries some real proof of success.”
Season-to-date, Danza rates a 1.3 nationally among households. That is not a high number, but the standards by which daytime syndicated shows were once measured are changing. Most producers don’t expect higher than a 2.0 rating between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. For that reason, they are launching fewer shows. They are also careful to nurture the ones they have, provided they aren’t too expensive to produce. Plus, stations have to be willing to let the program grow.
While Danza has been renewed by ABC stations, it still lacks the clearances necessary to become a genuine ratings success. It remains in overnight slots on ABC O&Os WLS Chicago and KABC Los Angeles and on Hearst Argyle’s WCVB, the ABC affiliate in Boston. It has no station home in Washington.
Buena Vista hopes to do with Danza what it did with Live With Regis and Kathie Lee (now Regis and Kelly) in the early ’90s. The show started in late-night time slots on weak stations and slowly grew into a hit. Says Komesar, “Patience eventually paid off for those stations.”
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