Monday, May 20, 2024

TV Syndication: “Drew Barrymore” Renewal Threatened by Low Ratings, “Hot Bench” Fans Who Want Show Back


Now is the time for TV syndicators to think about Fall 2022. Which shows will end, which will survive, which will be born?

At stake right away is “The Drew Barrymore Show” slot at 9am on CBS. “Drew” is in its second season and has never risen above 500,000 average viewers per day.

“Drew” comes with a lot of baggage. Produced by CBS, the new talk show replaced “Hot Bench,” owned by Judge Judy. “Hot Bench” hovers between 1.4 and 1.7 million viewers per day. It is very popular. But CBS thought it would make more money putting Barrymore into the 9am slot vs. established powerhouse “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” which is owned by Disney and shown mostly on ABC stations at the same hour.

So CBS let go of “Hot Bench,” which angered Judge Judy so much that she shut down her own hit show after 25 years and moved to streaming on the IMDB channel (owned by Amazon, big money). All the “Judge Judy” shows running on television this season are reruns as CBS owns the whole library and will just keep playing it over and over. For new “Judge Judy,” you have to go to Roku or Google Chrome or Apple TV devices.

But look, “Hot Bench” — playing now on lesser local channels and at odd times– is still getting between 1.4 and 1.7 million viewers per day– roughly three times’ “Drew’s audience. And other talkers are coming in, with rumors of Jennifer Hudson aiming to do a “Kelly Clarkson” like move. (She’d be great.) Plus, Kelly is getting the bump up next fall after Ellen Degeneres exits the arena.

Will “Drew” make it a third season? Or will CBS the show the error of its ways and return “Hot Bench: to its home at 9am on their owned and operated channels? Everyone is awaiting this verdict.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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