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'Katie' Passes 80% Mark

Disney-ABC's Katie, starring former Today Show and CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, remains ahead of the new talk show pack with more than 80% of the country cleared, including 55 of the top 60 markets, according to Janice Marinelli, president of Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

Katie is cleared on all of the ABC owned stations - including WABC New York, KABC Los Angeles and WLS Chicago - as well as on stations from the Granite, Griffin, Media General, Meredith, Raycom and Sinclair broadcast groups.

"The extraordinary momentum behind this series is a true testament to Katie's talent, appeal and her incomparable ability to connect with viewers," said Marinelli in a statement.

Katie, which will premiere next fall and be executive produced by Jeff Zucker, has been joined by NBCU's Steve Harvey and CBS Television Distribution's Jeff Probst as definite launches for next fall. Twentieth's Ricki Lake is expected to join them.

The sheer number of new shows available for next season will make it more difficult for every show to find timeslots in smaller media markets. By being out in front of the marketplace, Katie has the advantage of first pick of limited availabilities in those smaller markets.