'Morning Show With Mike and Juliet' to End in Fall

Twentieth Television will not renew The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, its syndicated morning talk show, said Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth on Thursday morning.

“Over the past two years, we set out to produce a high-quality show that provided viewers with an engaging source of entertainment.  We believe we accomplished this goal.  Unfortunately, the current serious economic conditions made it challenging to continue producing the type of unique program that we wanted to deliver,” Cook said.

“In this economy, the [cost-per-thousands] are smaller, and local broadcasters can’t pay the kind of license fee they have been able to pay in the past. Economically, we can’t continue to produce the show without compromising the quality we were putting on the screen.”

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of TV stations that are having a tough time locally and we’re having a tough time nationally.”

In the week ending Dec. 28, Mike and Juliet averaged a 0.9 live plus same day average national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Over the show’s second season, it’s been averaging about a 1.0, a number that’s proven to be too low to sustain first-run shows even in a healthy economy.

Original episodes of the show will continue to be produced through June 2009, and it will go off the air next fall.

The Fox owned stations are expected to replace the program with locally-produced programming, such as extensions of their local news franchises or of their local Good Day programs.

Over the past few years, the Fox stations have been actively expanding their local news franchises. Just this year, KTTV Los Angeles added a half-hour newscast at 10 a.m.; WFLD Chicago expanded its Good Day franchise for another hour at 9 a.m.; KRIV Houston added a one-hour newscast at 5 p.m. and WJBK Detroit added a half-hour newscast at 4:30 a.m.

For fall 2009, the Fox stations in various markets have picked up three new first-run shows: Dr. Oz, distributed by Sony and produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo; Wendy Williams, a co-production between Fox and Debmar-Mercury; and T.D. Jakes, distributed by CBS Television Distribution and produced by jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Productions. Besides Mike and Juliet, Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks also will depart the Fox stations and head to its new home on The CW.

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.