Katie Couric’s syndicated “Katie”– has been sold to 14 of the country’s top 15 TV markets, including Washington’s Allbritton-owned ABC affiliate station, WJLA, her producers at Disney announced Monday.
Disney hopes “Katie” becomes the new “Oprah” when it debuts in the fall of ’12. Oprah Winfrey’s longrunning talk show aired on many ABC stations across the country and was a ratings force to be reckoned with. “Katie” is shaping up to be no slouch, reuniting Couric, as it does, with her former ”Today” show producer, Jeff Zucker.
But WJLA has already given Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show its “Oprah” timeslot – 4 p.m. weekdays. Uh oh.
So, how’s Anderson doing in the timeslot on WJLA? With October ratings coming into the final stretch, the station’s ratings are down 68 percent compared to same time last year in what we like to call The Oprah Age Bracket: women between 25 and 54 years old. Last year, WJLA was far and away the leader at 4 o’clock with this key group of viewers.
Now leading the timeslot in this demographic: NBC-owned WRC, which, with news programming, is enjoying a160 percent ratings hike among women 25-54 at 4.
WRC now leads the Washington ratings race at 4 among all viewers as well, and the increase has solidified the station’s No. 1 status at 5 and at 6.
Behind WRC in the Oprah Age Bracket at 4: WTTG with “Dr. Oz,” which is up by a more modest 4 percent year-to-year.
Last summer, when everyone was trying to figure out who would be the next Oprah, Disney announced it had signed Couric to develop the talker and that the show would air on all of the ABC stations that are owned by the network, including the country’s three largest markets: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. At the time, Disney said Couric would also do work for the news division of its ABC broadcast network.
Slowly but surely, Katie Couric’s been making her way back to TV since joining ABC News in June — and Disney announced Monday that her new daytime talker, “Katie,” has been cleared for syndication in 60 percent of the country.
Among the sales, “Katie” was sold to Allbritton, which owns WJLA in Washington.
When Katie threw her name into the ring last year — just around the time when everyone started looking for a new Oprah — WJLA notably bought Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show, giving it Oprah’s former timeslot at 4 p.m. This means that the “Katie” news might be a bad sign for “Anderson,” especially if his ratings weren’t what WJLA had hoped for.
Also notable — this talk show is considered a potent new project, especially given that it’s reuniting Katie with her former ”Today” show producer, Jeff Zucker.
“Katie” is scheduled to debut next fall.