Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Los Angeles Gets Its "Oprah" Replacement: Dr. Oz


"The Oprah Winfrey Show" has dominated the 3 p.m. timeslot in Los Angeles for decades.

So if you're KABC/Channel 7, and your prized 3 p.m. star is about to quit (and move on to her own cable channel), what do you do?

Simple: You turn the reins over to one of Oprah's minions.

That's why KABC made such a strong play for "Dr. Oz." The syndicated strip, hosted by "Oprah Winfrey Show" regular Mehmet Oz, has been airing on Fox's KTTV/Channel 11 since it launched in Sept. 2009.

But with that deal set to expire, KABC swooped in and grabbed "Oz." That show will now move to KABC at 3 p.m. starting in fall 2011 -- right after Oprah signs off.

At KABC, "Dr. Oz" at least keeps Winfrey's Harpo Prods. -- which produces the medical-themed daily talk show for Sony -- alive in that slot.

No one "Oprah" successor has emerged, as the show airs in various time slots all over the country -- making it tough to pull off a group deal. In L.A., KABC has already aired news at 4 p.m. for decades, and wasn't expected to expand news even further back to 3 p.m. -- hence the necessity for the "Oz" acquisition.

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