Home business TV Syndication: “Drew Barrymore” Renewal Threatened by Low Ratings, “Hot Bench” Fans...

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.


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