In an interview with John Nogawski, president, CBS Television Distribution, Broadcasting & Cable revealed that Disney/ABC Domestic Television is spending roughly $80 million just to get its Katie Couric hosted talker, aptly named “Katie,” off the ground in the next couple of weeks.
“I think [Disney/ABC] cut a bad deal,” said Nogawski. “They did get very large license fees, but the majority of those license fees are attributed to ABC’s owned-and-operated stations. ['Katie'] is going to have to do a very large number for them to make money.” By comparison, CTD is spending roughly $30 million to launch “The Jeff Probst Show” ($24 million on production, $6 million on promotion).
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the Disney/ABC Television Stations Group released a press release (see below) informing stations across the country of its plans to launch the long anticipated talk show “Katie,” hosted by news personality Katie Couric, on Monday, September 10. What wasn’t stated was “General Hospital,” which currently occupies the planned 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PT/CT timeslot for Couric’s talk show, is likely to air its final episode in that timeslot on Friday, September 7. As we all know ABC is scheduled to turn over the timeslot to its affiliates, which will allow them to air various programming across their stations, including the option of airing “Katie.”
via Press Release
PREMIERE DATE ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW “KATIE”
“KATIE” TO PREMIERE MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2012
Executive Producer Jeff Zucker Announces Key Updates,
Hires for Katie Couric’s Upcoming Syndicated Daytime Show
Executive Producer Jeff Zucker today announced key production updates for Katie Couric’s highly anticipated nationally syndicated talk show, “Katie.” The live, weekday show has already been cleared in 94% of the country, and will premiere on Monday, September 10, 2012. The show is distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
In an internal webcast to television stations that will air “Katie,” Zucker unveiled the show’s logo, and announced additions to the senior production staff including Director Joe Terry, who has spent the last 14 years as Director for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and Co-Executive Producer Kathy Samuels. Samuels is a producer with nearly 20 years of television experience, including live television and daytime talk show programming at NBC, Paramount Domestic, and CBS, and has been a part of several successful launch teams, including “Rachael Ray” and “Access Hollywood.” Zucker will serve as the day-to-day showrunner.
The webcast was conducted from TV One at ABC’s Manhattan headquarters, which will serve as home to the “Katie” set. The studio itself has a rich history, having served as the backdrop to the Kennedy/Nixon Presidential debates, and has housed broadcast programming including “Good Morning America” and election night coverage. “Katie” will broadcast live, weekdays in front of a studio audience.
“Katie and I are thrilled to share these updates with our partners and Katie’s fans,” said Zucker. “We now have our studio, a great-looking logo that exudes all of the qualities that we want the show to convey, and a terrific team with a diverse background of experience. We couldn’t be more excited about September 10. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist, best-selling author and popular TV personality. In addition to hosting the new nationally syndicated program “Katie,” Couric is also a member of the ABC News team. “Katie” will be executive produced by Katie Couric and Jeff Zucker and is distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
For the latest news about the show, subscribe to Facebook updates from Katie, and follow her on Twitter.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On June 6, 2011, ABC finally announced (after months of rumors) that it had signed a deal with former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric to host a new daily syndicated talk show, and that said show would replace veteran soap opera “General Hospital” in the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT/CT timeslot. Initially the decision brought fear to soap opera fans, who only two months prior learned that ABC Daytime’s two other veteran soaps (“All My Children” and “One Life to Live”) would be replaced by two new food and lifestyle centered talk shows (“The Chew” and “The Revolution”). Now nearly a year since the announcement it looks like Katie Couric may just be the lifesaver “General Hospital” desperately needs.
According to TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, sources have informed him that the talk show host and her executive producer (former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker) have expressed their concern to the Disney/ABC Television Group brass, producers of her new talk show, in regards to the poor ratings performance that has been “The Revolution” – Since the talk shows debut in January the program hovers at just over 1.5 million viewers on average. By comparison, “One Life to Live,” which “Revolution” replaced, averaged more than 2.3 million viewers on average and performed better in key sales demos during the same period of time on the year-ago. “Couric and Zucker want to see ’GH’ get that slot because it’s a stronger show, Nielsen-wise, plus Couric does not want to face the wrath of ‘GH’ fans and risk the chance they’ll organize a boycott. Who the hell needs that? So she and Zucker want ‘The Revolution’ to go bye-bye,” the website stated.
With “General Hospital’s” recent uptick in key demos and total viewers since the new dynamic duo of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati (executive producer and head writer) debuted just a few short weeks ago, for the first time in over a year the soap finally has a fighting chance, but will ABC listen? “They may not have a choice,” said Logan. “In fact, they might even agree at this point. Our spies at Times Square Studios — the new tag for ABC Daytime — tell us the commitment to nonscripted shows remains firm in the ABC daypart but no one is doing handstands over the ones currently in development, which include a doctor show and a game show. While ABC technically has time (though not much) to replace ‘The Revolution’ with more reality, that option is looking way too chancy.”
Should ABC end up keeping “GH” on the air and canceling “The Revolution,” the soap will move to the 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM CT/PT timeslot beginning in September. According to sources, a decision on the eventual outcome on either series will not be made until at least mid-April.
What Do You Think? Sound Off! below.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “All My Children’s” replacement show “The Chew” debuts today, just three days after “AMC” aired its final episode on ABC, and I can’t help myself in wishing it would just go away. No, it isn’t the show or what it is all about. In a perfect world I’d care to watch it from time to time, after all we all have to cook good and healthy meals don’t we? But it is the way the network went about handling “The Chew” which included non-stop advertising during “AMC’s” final weeks on television along with non-stop advertising on soap opera centered websites including Soap Opera Network that I find myself saying “what a way to spit on your audience.”
Of course daytime has changed according to ABC’s own research and their viewers were really tired of watching soap operas so it makes sense to promote your new shows to your audience, but the only audience you had were watching soaps, so who is going to watch “The Chew” if not soap fans? “The Chew” is being promoted everywhere you look. On TV, on billboards, in magazines and if I recall correctly (or IIRC) and not mistaken, it’s also being promoted in movie theaters with pre-show clippings. Where was this type of advertising for daytime soap operas?
Do I wish the show failure? If I were being honest with myself I’d say yes just so ABC can be proven wrong in their presumptions, but I don’t think it will bomb. No matter if it lands itself below “All My Children” in every ratings category from here on out, it will still be a success for ABC because the network is spending 30-40% less than they did on “AMC.” Ratings no longer matter, it’s all about the bottom dollar and just like Jeff Zucker, who has joined the network as it gets ready to launch a Katie Couric hosted daytime talk show next year, said when he ran NBC “we’re managing for margin, not for ratings. So it’s the expense of our shows, the consistency of our shows being on the schedule. It’s not determined by the size of the ratings, because the size of the ratings of a show we cannot afford is not going to do us any good anymore.” Right or wrong, that’s just the new reality.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As reported back in June, the Disney/ABC Television Group has hired Katie Couric to host a new daily syndicated talk show that is expected to air on virtually all ABC affiliated stations, including the eight owned and operated stations that have already signed off on the deal. The show currently titled “Katie” will debut in September 2012 during the 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT time slot currently occupied by ABC’s “General Hospital,” which will be forced to relocate to an as yet to be determined timeslot on the network.
According to TVNewser, Disney/ABC has begun sending marketing materials to station owners and advertisers in hopes of driving up support of the new show, which includes the first promotional poster for the talk show (seen at right).
“I think Katie is a unique brand in television,” said Jeff Zucker, “Katie” Executive Producer and former NBC Universal chief executive shortly after the announcement of the talker was announced in June. “The mere fact that you can just say Katie and know who we are talking about is evidence of that.”
Remembering the statements made to calm down “GH” fans, who are worried the 48-year-old soap will be the next canceled by ABC, the Disney/ABC publicity team stated back in the June the following:
“As you’ll note, we went out of our way to state that we continue to support the show,” Disney-ABC Television spokesman Kevin Brockman told CNN. “We have a long time between now and fall of 2012, so fans should be encouraged to continue watching and supporting.”
Brockman’s statement was echoed by Jori Petersen, Vice President, Publicity, ABC Daytime “The announcement does not mean the inevitable cancellation of ‘General Hospital,’” said Petersen. “Rather it means that in September 2012, we will program our daytime block with our three strongest shows. We’ll have options for the daytime daypart just like with do each year with prime-time. We believe in all of our shows and the ones that our viewers want will be the ones that continue. There are many options that could happen … only time will tell. We are simply giving ourselves options for the future, which is a smart way to do business. The best way to ensure a favorite show stays on the air is to watch it.”
According to TVNewser, “Social media and interactivity will play a big role in the show, which is still in the early stages of development. Disney-ABC is currently building out a few websites for the program, including www.TalkToKatie.com, which is expected to serve as a hub at which viewers and Couric can interact.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Katie Couric announced last week that she would be leaving her post as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” after five years with the network. The former “Today” show co-host plans to launch a daytime talk show in the fall of 2012. Word has it that ABC is in serious discussions to bring the well known personality to the Disney/ABC Television Group fold, but what does that mean for ABC’s “General Hospital” now that it’s former lead-ins “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are being replaced with “The Chew” and “The Revolution?”
Although Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group said “I’m not talking to her,” in an interview with Deadline.com when asked if he’d consider pursuing Couric after news of the cancellations of “AMC” and “OLTL” became public, that doesn’t mean ABC News President, Brian Sherwood, wasn’t. According to Deadline, Sherwood has been the front man in the networks discussions with Couric’s team that includes former NBC Universal President and CEO and “Today Show” executive producer, Jeff Zucker, and Ed Wilson, President, Tribune Broadcasting. Reportedly, any show distributed by Disney/ABC with Katie Couric would be syndicated around the country and wouldn’t necessarily air on ABC. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, however. Deadline speculates that should the prospective show be syndicated, but air on the majority of ABC stations, the network would be forced to move “General Hospital” out of its protected 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT slot in order to get the lucrative space from its ABC affiliates. The move wouldn’t necessarily mean the demise of the ABC Daytime staple.
ABC will probably have to give an hour of daytime programming back to the affiliates and that would likely be the 3 PM slot currently occupied by General Hospital though it doesn’t necessarily mean that the sole soap on ABC’s daytime schedule will be canceled as it may be moved to an early time period. The Chew and The Revolution are set to take over the 1 PM and 2 PM slots in the fall and in January but the odds are they won’t both succeed, leading to a vacancy.
What about CBS? Why can’t Couric just stay there? While a 30-day matching window began today, TMZ is reporting that all talks with the network and Couric’s team have ceased as of yesterday after both sides were unable to come to terms where Couric would remain a prominent presence within CBS News. CBS was only willing to give her face time on “60 Minutes,” while Couric wanted more.
Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as this story continues to unfold!