CBS TV Distribution’s syndicated daily talk show hosted by Survivor‘s Jeff Probst has finalized a deal with the NBC owned-and-operated stations, clearing the strip for a fall 2012 launch. In addition to the NBC Owned TV Stations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Miami, San Diego and Hartford, Connecticut, the show, titled Jeff Probst, has been sold to stations owned by CBS, Gannett Broadcasting, Post-Newsweek, Belo, Cox Television, Scripps Howard Broadcasting and LIN Television — the station groups that previously carried CTD’s The Oprah Winfrey Show — for 55% coverage of the U.S., including 16 of the Top 20 markets. “Stations enthusiastically embraced our and Jeff’s vision for re-creating the classic talk show,” CTD president John Nogawski said. “Jeff developed his listening and storytelling skills on the prime-time hit Survivor, and his hosting appeal was cemented on Live With Regis and Kelly and Larry King Live.” The one-hour talk show, hosted and executive produced by Probst, will cover topics ranging from relationships and family dynamics to newsmakers of the day to families facing challenges. “I’m fascinated with people,” Probst said. “And I love adventure. I can’t wait to bring these two worlds together in daytime, and the added bonus is I get to continue with Survivor in primetime.” As sister companies, CTD and CBS have worked out a mechanism where Probst will be able to do both Survivor and the syndicated talk show with no scheduling conflict. For instance, Probst will be done filming the 2 cycles of the veteran reality series for next season by June when he will segue into pre-production on the talk show.
Jeff Probst had been competing with two other talk show hopefuls, Twentieth’s Ricki Lake and Warner Bros’ Bethenny Frankel, for a spot on the NBC O&Os, the last available premium piece of station real estate for next fall. Rikki Lake is still expected to launch next fall with what was described as a “non-traditional” clearance list, which includes the Tribune stations in New York, Seattle and Hartford, CT as well as sibling Fox stations, including those in Los Angeles and Chicago. The Jeff Probst acquisition does not affect Sony TV’s Nate Berkus Show, which has a deal with the NBC stations though next season. In addition to Jeff Probst, the 10 NBC O&O will also serve as the launch group for the new Steve Harvey talk show next fall. Meanwhile, the station clearances rule out Probst, a frequent substitute guest host on Live! With Regis And Kelly, as a possible successor to departing Regis Pilbin. (He also served as a regular guest host on Larry King Live.) This marks CBS TV Distribution’s first first-run syndication launch since The Doctors.