'Meredith Vieira Show' Now a Firm Go for Fall 2014

NBCU's The Meredith Vieira Show is the first syndicated first-run show to get a firm go for next fall. NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution has sold Vieira in more than 60% of the U.S.for its broadcast syndication debut next September, said Ed Swindler, president, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and president, NBC Broadcast Operations.

The NBC Owned Stations staked their claim to Vieira in July, soon after NBCU decided to pick the show up to series.

Besides NBC, stations from Hearst Television, Sinclair, LIN Media, Cordillera Communications, Gray Television, Post-Newsweek, Schurz Communications, London Broadcasting, Hubbard Broadcasting, Bonneville, Meredith, Young, Raycom, Quincy, Cox and other groups have acquired the show.

According to sources, many stations are picking up Vieira to hedge their bets if Disney-ABC's Katie does not return for a third season. Hearst, which owns 13 ABC affiliates, is ABC's biggest affiliate group.

The NBC Owned Stations are expected to air Vieira at 2 p.m. in many markets, leading into the group's two established talkers: NBCU's Steve Harvey at 3 and Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres at 4. Those stations have holes at 2 p.m. after CBS Television Distribution ended the low-rated run of Jeff Probst after only one year.

Stations are buying Vieira for cash plus barter, with four national ad units and 11 local units in every hour. Some stations are acquiring the show in two-year deals.

The show will be produced in New York, with Vieira serving as an executive producer as well as host, and will be produced and distributed by NBCU DTD.

History In the Making?

Vieira has history with NBC. She coanchored the Today show with Matt Lauer from September 2006 to May 2011, and she remains a special correspondent with Today and NBC Nightly News. She was on hand in London for the Summer Olympics in 2012, and she will repeat that role next February in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Vieira also hosted Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from 2002 to 2013, helming more than 2,000 episodes of the game show.

From 1997 to 2006, Vieira served as moderator of ABC's The View. She joined ABC News in 1993 as chief correspondent of news magazine Turning Point, which premiered in March 1994. Prior to that, she spent more than a decade at CBS News, where she reported for 60 Minutes and West 57th.

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.