NBC Enterprises has connected The Weakest Link to KNBC-TV Los Angeles, which fills in the show's last major clearance hole.
Weakest Link has also been secured on CBS O&O KYW-TV Philadelphia and NBC-owned WMAQ-TV Chicago, which hands the show all top five markets, after accounting for previously confirmed clearances on the two CBS O&O's WCBS-TV New York and KPIX-TV San Francisco.
Los Angeles' KNBC-TV is a natural distribution partner for Weakest Link, since it's an NBC-owned outlet. It's also part of NBC Enterprises recently forged distribution agreement between the NBC O&O's, Hearst-Argyle and Gannett stations. But some insiders say KNBC-TV looked good versus other area outlets because of better time slot openings.
NBC has been gunning for the ratings-grabbing early fringe and access time periods, but KCBS-TV Los Angeles is tight in those dayparts. It recently shelled out the big bucks for Judge Judy at 3 p.m. and is apparently locked into long-term arrangements with Entertainment Tonight and Hollywood Squares, distributed by CBS O&O production partners Paramount and King World respectively.
As far as KNBC-TV goes, the word is that Weakest Link is being targeted for 3 p.m., the slot The Rosie O'Donnell Show is expected to vacate after 2002. KNBC-TV had no comment. - Susanne Ault