NBC Owned-And-Operated Television Stations and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution Extend Long-Term Programming Partnership
The NBC Universal Television Stations and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution today announced a series of three deals extending the long-standing programming and marketing partnership between the two groups. The deals cover the two-year pickup of a new talk show from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Telepictures Productions to be hosted by Bonnie Hunt, as well as extensions of the long-running hit entertainment newsmagazine Extra through 2012 and the Emmy Award®-winning talk program The Ellen DeGeneres Show through 2011. The joint announcement was made by John Wallace, President, NBC Television Stations, and Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
“We’re very pleased to extend our relationship with Warner Bros., ensuring our stations continue to receive a steady supply of quality programming from one of our most valued and trusted partners,” said John Wallace. “As the daytime syndication marketplace continues to evolve, it’s critical that we have strong creative partners, like Warner Bros., who share our goals and are committed to working with us to provide programs that resonate with our viewers and fit with the NBC brand.”
“For the past year, we have had a series of in-depth strategic discussions with NBC management and general managers concerning their long-term strategic goals,” said Ken Werner. “It was through this collaborative process that we each discovered a significant alignment of interests that made these deals possible.”
Werner added, “The daytime syndication marketplace is more challenging than ever. Stations have been telling us that having a robust schedule of first-run programming is vital to their well-being. It is our primary business. We are thrilled to continue to work closely with John Wallace and the NBC stations to provide them with outstanding programming and marketing that is consistent with their objectives.”
Under terms of the agreement, NBC has made a two-year commitment to a new syndicated talk show for fall 2008 to be hosted by acclaimed comedy writer, producer, director and performer Bonnie Hunt. The program will be produced by Bob & Alice Productions and paraMedia, inc., in association with Telepictures Productions, and has been cleared on each of the NBC owned-and-operated stations, with the exception of Philadelphia. Bonnie Hunt, Jim Paratore and Don Lake will serve as executive producers. One of the most versatile comedic performers of her generation, Hunt has built an impressive career of more than 20 years on stage, in motion pictures and on television. An alumna of Chicago’s The Second City improvisational theater, Hunt served as executive producer, writer and star of the acclaimed comedy series The Building, The Bonnie Hunt Show and Life with Bonnie, receiving an Emmy® nomination and two Golden Globe nominations for her efforts. She also directed, co-wrote and co-starred in the feature film Return to Me, opposite David Duchovny, Minnie Driver and James Belushi. Hunt’s other film credits include Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, in which she co-starred opposite Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger, and box-office hit Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel, in which she starred opposite Steve Martin. Her guest-hosting stints on both Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly earned her praise and multiple offers to host a program of her own.
“Bonnie Hunt is an iconic personality and a proven entertainer with a distinctive comedic voice and point of view. She is the quintessential everywoman with an authenticity, likability and relatability that will connect with the daytime audience. Bonnie has attracted the attention of the talk show community for years. Anyone who has seen her regular talk show appearances and guest hosting on Letterman or Regis and Kelly knows she has the talent and rare skills to host a daily show,” said Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures Productions. “We have been pursuing Bonnie for years, and we are ecstatic that she has joined the Telepictures family, where we will be collaborating with her on producing her talk show debut.”
The second deal extends Extra through 2011-2012 on the NBC owned-and-operated stations, covering seasons 17 and 18 of the hit entertainment newsmagazine, which is the second-longest-running program of its kind in television history, behind only Entertainment Tonight. The on-air team of Extra is led by co-hosts Dayna Devon and Mark McGrath, who are backed by an experienced team of award-winning correspondents, including weekend co-hosts Tanika Ray and Mario Lopez; reporters Jerry Penacoli, Michael Corbett, AJ Calloway, Carlos Diaz and Terri Seymour; and music critic Jude Cole. Extra began its 14th season on Monday, September 10, and celebrated its 4,000th episode on Wednesday, September 12.
In the third pact, the NBC owned-and-operated stations have extended The Ellen DeGeneres Show through 2010-2011. Ellen recently won a fourth consecutive Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Talk Show – extending its own streak as the first program in television history to win that award in every season it has been on the air – and DeGeneres herself won a third consecutive Daytime Emmy® for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
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