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Couric's show bombs on Ch.7; TWC makes Discovery deal

By Alan Pergament

If Katie Couric's syndicated talk show dies after the current second season ends in May of 2014, not too many Western New Yorkers will be mourning.

If you missed it Friday, reports in the New York Times and elsewhere surfaced that Couric will be leaving her job as an ABC News correspondent to work on a new series for Yahoo.

The Times report by Bill Carter added that the Yahoo deal isn't expect to impact "Katie," her expensive talk show syndicated by a different ABC unit than news. He added a decision is expected to be made on whether it gets a third season by the end of the year.

During the first three weeks of this November's sweeps, "Katie" is averaging a 1.2 rating at 3 p.m. weekdays on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. That means an average of 1.2 percent of area households are watching. 

That is 25 percent lower than the 1.6 rating that "Katie" averaged during the 2012 November sweeps, when it ran at 4 p.m. as Channel 7's news lead-in. It has been replaced at 4 p.m. by a new talk show hosted by Queen Latifah.

The ratings for "Katie" have been a major disappointment for Channel 7, which had hoped that Couric's show would have some of the ratings magic that Oprah Winfrey's show had as a news lead-in for decades for both Channel 7 and Channel 4. Nationally, Carter noted that "Katie" has been one of the stronger daytime talk shows to premiere in the last few years, but it hasn't gotten near the ratings that were expected.

Channel 7's 5 p.m. newscasts are getting record low ratings, at least partly because the low-rated afternoon 1-2 punch of Katie and Queen Latifah isn't bringing news viewers to the station.

Remember when I told you last week that Time Warner Cable was warning subscribers that they could miss some key channels after current contracts expire? Well, you can cross out "Deadliest Catch" as being endangered. TWC announced late last week it has made a deal with Discovery to carry all of its channels.

Fox has announced some midseason scheduling changes for its low-rated Tuesday lineup. The critically-acclaimed but little-watched Andy Samberg comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will move from 8 p.m. to 9:30 on Feb.4, three weeks before "Glee" will move to 8 p.m. Tuesday from Thursday. "New Girl " will remain at 9 p.m. "Dads," the Seth MacFarlane comedy that critics tried to kill before it even aired, leaves the schedule in early February and hopefully will never return. Another low-rated comedy -- "The Mindy Project" -- will have a so-called winter finale on Jan.28. None of those Fox shows get much of an audience in WNY, though they get more viewers than "Katie."

A terribly unfunny military comedy, "Enlisted," is being buried at 8:30 p.m. Friday, starting on Jan. 10.

On the drama front, Kevin Bacon's "The Following," which had a decent following here in its first season -- returns at 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan.19 following the NFC title game and airs in its regular 9 p.m. Monday time slot on the following day. 

A new disappointing drama, "Rake," about a legal misfit played by Greg Kinnear, premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday -- the current "Glee" time slot -- on Jan. 23.

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Television | TV news
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