Dr. Phil shores up CBS skeds

In a display of synergistic sparks, Paramount/King World's Dr. Phil has filled in key clearance holes on several CBS O&O's for its upcoming fall 2002 launch, sources say.

Produced by Paramount and distributed by its Viacom sister King World, Dr. Phil has landed on WCBS-TV New York, KTVT-TV Dallas, WCCO-TV Minneapolis and KCNC-TV Denver. A spokesperson for King World declined comment. This is really a case of keeping everything in the family - the CBS O&O's are both Paramount's and King World's distribution partner under Viacom; plus, the series is headlined by Dr. Phil McGraw, a frequent guest on King World's Oprah. And Oprah Winfrey-owned Harpo Productions created the strip.

Apparently, Dr. Phil has scored afternoon time slots on these CBS stations, but shouldn't air opposite Oprah, that daypart's talk powerhouse - as per an earlier agreement struck between Harpo Productions, King World and Paramount. So far, other 2002 syndicated shows haven't sold along company lines. ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and NBC's The Weakest Link are clustered on a lot of CBS-owned outlets.
- Susanne Ault