Strong Year For Freshman Syndicated Shows As ‘The Real’ & ‘Celebrity Name Game’ Eye Renewals

Following a lackluster last season, which saw only one freshman, The Queen Latifah Show, make it to Season 2 that has been cut short by the recent cancellation, first-year syndicated shows are faring better this fall. Two already have been renewed — NBCU’s The Meredith Vieira Show, which like The Queen Latifah Show and Katie started with two-year deals, and CTD’s Hot Bench, which got the nod yesterday along with stations upgrades on CBS stations in top markets following Queen Latifah‘s end.

Two others, Warner Bros.’ panel talk show The Real and  Debmar-Mercury’s game show Celebrity Name Game hosted by Craig Ferguson, look very good for a renewal, which could come soon. Even the lower profile, lower rated fifth new entry this season, Trifecta’s court show Judge Faith has a shot at a second season, I hear.

During the November sweep, all four syndie rookies that have been renewed or expected to to be logged 1.0 rating or above in households. Judge Judy Sheindlin-created and produced court show Hot Bench averaged a 1.7, followed by Celebrity Name Game (1.3), Meredith Vieira (1.2) and The Real (1.0). Last year, only one first-year syndicated series, Queen Latifah, was above 1.0 for the November sweep, at 1.1, followed by Bethenny (0.9), Arsenio Hall (0.7) and The Test (0.6), all cancelled by the spring.

In daytime’s target women 25-54 demo, Hot Bench did a 0.8, followed by The Real and Celebrity Name Game with a 0.7 and Meredith Vieira with a 0.6.

The Real, hosted by Tamera Mowry, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai, has been especially strong in the younger female demos, something that has propelled The Wendy Williams Show to the top ranks of daytime talk shows. The Real averaged a 0.7 in women 18-49 and women 18-34, tying Hot Bench as No.1 new syndicated talk show in W18-49 (Celebrity Name Game did 0.6, Meredith Vieira 0.4). The Real finished as solo No.1 in W18-34, with Celebrity Name Game as No.2 (0.5), followed by Hot Bench and the older-skewing Meredith Vieira, tied at 0.3. I hear that The Real has two-year deals in more than 50% of the U.S. and talks are underway to secure clearances in the rest of the country.

Judge Faith pulled in a soft 0.7 household ratings and 0.3 in W25-54 but I hear it is inexpensive to produce and has a shot at renewal.

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