The CW Television Network is teaming up with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to create a daily two-hour afternoon 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. programming block -- a new one-hour TV court show, "Judge Jeanine Pirro," as well as two half-hour off-net comedies, "The Wayans Bros" and "The Jamie Foxx Show."
The new programming schedule will start Sept. 22. The CW had already been running reruns of "Reba" and other shows during daytime as part of its network - but not with original programming.
OK, you might still call this syndication -- just wrapped a little differently.
It seems that the Tribune stations that make up the CW's big station network affiliates were key in bringing in the deal. According to TV Week, Tribune was given cash to make the deal run. In addition, this show is likely to be sold on a familiar syndication financial model -- seven minutes of local advertising for stations, seven minutes of national advertising time for the network.
That surely isn't how most networks do programming deals with its affiliates these days.
The positive from all this would be giving a daytime show more marketing push -- promotions during prime time -- something few if any syndication shows outside of "Oprah" get much of.
The downside is that it's a court show, which, according to TV media buying executives, can still rely on the much-maligned category of direct response (DR) advertisers.
To many executives, the DR business isn't about premium high-end TV advertising -- either from national or local advertisers. Still, to others, DR has grown into a stable part of a TV station's ad business.
It's well-documented that the CW's prime-time fare has been suffering this year -- perhaps as part of what has happened to its young-skewing viewers, who are seeking entertainment elsewhere, or at least seeking CW-type shows elsewhere.
So CW looks to go about it another way - perhaps at the same time doing a favor to its sister company Warner Bros, which is CW's half-owner with CBS. Daytime is all about attracting older women viewers. Perhaps it'll have better luck in court.