Another daytime player is entering the fray for fall 2014. Following a successful four-week test on seven Fox owned-and-operated stations this past summer, Warner Bros TV Distribution/Telepictures’ syndicated daytime panel talk show The Real will get a nationwide rollout next fall with the Fox TV Stations as a launch group. Additionally, the show, hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai and executive produced by Sally Ann Salsano (Jersey Shore), will get a second window on BET following the model of The Wendy Williams Show, which also airs on the Fox stations after a successful summer test run, as well as on BET. The two-year deal for The Real comes on the heels of WBTVD signing a three-year pact with the Fox stations for TMZ On TV offshoot TMZ Live. Insiders say the two shows could easily co-exist (TMZ Live does not require a national footprint), and The Real pickup also does not interfere with the renewal chances of WBTVD’s other talk show strip on the Fox stations, Bethenny. While the show has been slow out of the gate, I hear the Fox stations see some growth potential and want to monitor its performance for several more weeks before making a final decision on a second season.
Across all seven markets in which it aired, The Real, considered a younger, ethnic take on The View, improved at least +2 share points over its lead-in among all women demos, showing a rare strong growth in both the traditional daytime demo of women 25-54 as well as the younger women 18-34 group (+50% over the May 2013 time period share among women 18-49 and +40% among women 25-54).
“This summer, the daytime landscape in seven Fox markets was dramatically altered when the women of The Real exploded on to the air,” said WBTVD president Ken Werner. “The Real brought viewers a unique combination of elements that were missing from daytime, a real, multi-cultural conversation about issues that women of all ages are talking about.” Added Frank Cicha, SVP Programming, Fox TV Stations, “Five hosts for the price of one — score! Seriously, we’re all looking for younger adults and this program delivered big time.”
This marks the first new Warner Bros syndicated series to launch under the studio’s new unscripted topper Mike Darnell, who also oversees first-run syndication. He joined the studio just as The Real‘s summer test concluded and has worked closely with Werner since, supporting the show. The Real will debut on 18 Fox-owned stations including New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Chicago (WFLD), Philadelphia (WTXF). Talks are underway with station groups in the rest of the country. The Real joins NBCU’s Meredith Vieira daytime talk show, which has been cleared in 60% of the country for next fall.