The ABC station group has answered one of the more interesting questions coming out of the NATPE show: where it will schedule the two talk shows picked up for the fall.
The Wayne Brady Show, from co-owned Buena Vista Television, will get the daytime slots currently occupied by Warner Bros.'Rosie O'Donnell, which The Caroline Rhea Show
replaces in the fall. Buena Vista plans a "slow roll-out" for Brady: After launch on the O&Os, it will sell the show on a straight cash basis, retaining an option to withhold barter time in the future.
The time-slot news is a bummer for Rhea, great news for Brady. The latter, hosted by the actor-comedian now seen in Whose Line Is It Anyway?, will air at 10 a.m. on WABC-TV New York, WPVI-TV Philadelphia and WTVD(TV) Durham, N.C. That slot is one of the most coveted, particularly on ABC affiliates because of the strong lead-out of Live With Regis and Kelly, says Katz Media Group's Bill Carroll. It has the been the most successful launch pad for syndicated talk shows, he adds. Rosie, for example, gets its highest daytime ratings in the top 50 markets on WPVI-TV at 10 a.m., third-highest on WABC-TV, 10th-highest on WTVD.
In San Francisco, Brady
will air at 3 p.m., when Rosie
currently airs. Two of the bigger stations—KABC-TV Los Angeles and WLS-TV Chicago—don't currently air Rosie, and it's unclear when they will air Brady,
but it would almost certainly have to be late at night.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.'Rhea
will shift to late fringe on many ABC stations. It may replace late-fringe Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher
if the host and ABC don't come to terms on his contract, which expires in the fall. If they do, Rhea—
in which ABC bought a 50% stake last month—would likely air after Incorrect. But it will have a mix of time periods around the country. And Warner Bros. is betting ABC will do what it can to maximize on-air exposure.