Inside Edition's a Quiet Hit

King World's Inside Edition
will celebrate the beginning of its 15th season by dropping a small hint during a short segment on the Jan. 9 show. But even though the show isn't going to spend much time on-air crowing about its accomplishment, its producers realize how hard it is to last as long as Inside Edition

Launched at the same time as Hard Copy
and A Current Affair, Inside Edition
is the only show of that genre still around. What's largely replaced those shows are knockoffs of genre leader, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, such as NBC's Access Hollywood
and Warner Bros.'Extra.

Inside Edition, which fancies itself more news than entertainment, is routinely No. 2 compared to those shows.

Although ET
is the clear leader in the category, scoring a 5.9 national rating in the most recent listings, Inside Edition
places among the top 20 of all syndicated shows, scoring an average 3.4 rating. In comparison, Access Hollywood
and Extra
both hit a 2.7 in the week ending Dec. 15.

Inside Edition,
which is cleared in 88% of country, has been hosted by Deborah Norville since 1995, who took over the post after the departure of Bill O'Reilly.

"Deborah Norville is a skilled communicator and she's believable," says Charles Lachman, the show's executive producer. Lachman has been with Inside Edition since the show's first day on the air. Norville came to Inside Edition after reporting the news at CBS and NBC, and after hosting a syndicated radio show on the ABC Radio Network. During her stint at Inside Edition, Norville has undertaken some literary pursuits, writing books and children's stories.

"The heart and soul of Inside Edition always has been ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances," said Lachman, when asked what has kept his show on the air for so long. The show includes investigative reports on such topics as why passengers on one cruise ship recently fell ill and how millions of people get hurt each year when they slip and fall.

The show does tackle more serious news-related subjects, such as the recent sniper killings in Washington, D.C., and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Inside Edition won its fifth National Headliner Award from the Atlantic City Press Club for its continuing coverage of Sept. 11 last year.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.