Under terms of the deal, Warner Bros., the show's previous distributor, will continue to sell national barter advertising for the series, produced by NBC Studios, and still have a stake in its revenue. Also, Warner Bros. has won renewals through the 2004-2005 season on the NBC O&O stations for the magazine Extra. That term was considered the key incentive for getting Warner Bros. to release Access Hollywood to NBC.
Warner Bros. is a huge supporter of the strip - for several months now, it has been offering Access Hollywood at drastically-reduced license fee prices upon stations' agreement to slot it in the ratings-grabbing access daypart.
Ed Wilson, NBC Enterprises' chief, did indicate he "looks forward to continuing the fine work of Warner Bros," and will keep aggressively upgrading the show.
Dick Robertson, Warner Bros.' Domestic Television Distribution president, added the company "totally understands and supports NBC's desire to bring Access Hollywood into its distribution field" and is "pleased to continue handling the show's barter advertising." Right now, Paramount rival Entertainment Tonight, typically doubles the national household ratings of Access Hollywood. But the average rating for Access Hollywood in the 13 top markets, where it primarily runs in access, typically tops the average numbers for Entertainment Tonight in those same cities.
- Susanne Ault