Sources say King World will be offering just 26 weeks' worth of original episodes of top-rated talker
Oprah, a departure from the norm. (Usually, studios produce 39 weeks of original episodes per season.) This starts with the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.
Less than a month ago, King World closed a two-year extension on Oprah Winfrey's contract, continuing the show's run through 2004. "To balance things out," says one source, King World has apparently told stations they'll get a larger piece of the local barter advertising time.