Ellen Gets Phil's Slot at KNBC

KNBC Los Angeles is shuffling its syndicated lineup for fall to plug a major hole in its schedule when Dr. Phil moves to rival KCBS (co-owned with Dr. Phil distributor King World).

Dr. Phil, KNBC's 4 p.m. show and a solid local-news lead-in, will make the jump in September.

In its place, NBC owned-and-operated KNBC plans to move The Ellen DeGeneres Show, currently running at 3 p.m., up to the key 4 p.m. slot. Ellen's replacement will be the new NBC Universal-produced Martha Stewart Show.

"We are delighted by Ellen's production, performance and persona and feel she will flourish even further in the 4 p.m. time period, " KNBC President/GM Paula Madison said in a statement. "With its new format and extraordinary production team,  'Martha,' by all indications, should be the perfect bridge from the soap operas into the energetic humor and engaging approach of  Ellen."

The station has been working for months on its new lineup, considering new syndicated product, a 4 p.m. newscast ,or a locally-produced program. Initially, it signed on for The Suze Orman Show, but that series never made it into production.

KNBC opted to let Dr. Phil go rather than pay a stiff rate increase. KCBS is said to be paying approximately $225,000 per week, up from the estimated $185,000 KNBC had been paying.  Dr. Phil is on the move in Chicago too, switching from NBC-owned WMAQ to CBS owned-and-operated WBBM. 

KNBC needed a plug for mornings as well, to fill the 10 a.m. hole left by the cancellation of NBC U's The Jane Pauley Show. Faced with few new programs to chose from, KNBC is opting to re-run Extra and Access Hollywood episodes in the time slot. Starting Over will remain in its noon slot.