"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is staying put at NBC's big city stations through 2014 -- squashing any notion that the Warner Bros. - produced talk show could end up replacing "Oprah" on ABC - owned stations.
Ken Werner, president of the show's syndicator, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, and John Wallace, president of the NBC Local Media Division, jointly announced the renewal of the Telepictures Productions daytime show on Wednesday.
“Ellen is one of those unique personalities that comes along once in a generation,” Werner said in a statement. “Her program has been embraced by viewers as their generation’s talk franchise, and we couldn’t be happier that the NBC stations will continue to have ‘Ellen’ as the cornerstone of their syndicated lineup for years to come.”
DeGeneres, who just made her debut as a judge on "American Idol," said, “I’m so excited to sign on for three more years at NBC. They were the ones that believed in my show from day one. So I’m thrilled to know I’ll be here ’til at least 2014. Things will be a lot different by then. I won’t be dancing over my coffee table anymore. Through the magic of 3D, I’ll be dancing over YOURS!”
Under terms of the multiyear deal, “Ellen” will continue to be broadcast on NBC’s 10 owned-and-operated stations – including WNBC-TV in New York, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and WMAQ-TV in Chicago – through the end of the 2013-14 television season.
There had been speculation that "Ellen" might move into the slots being vacated by "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on the ABC stations at the end of next season, when Winfrey departs daytime syndication. This deal puts an end to that notion.
DeGeneres had already extended her deal with WBTD through 2014 as part of the studio's agreement to let her do double duty as a judge on "American Idol."
While "Ellen" won't now directly replace "Oprah" on ABC stations, that doesn't mean WBTD won't be doing all it can to subtly promote DeGeneres as the spiritual successor to Winfrey. Much has already been made of Winfrey's high praise for DeGeneres in recent months as a sign that Winfrey is supposedly thinking of DeGeneres as her unofficial replacement. Winfrey even invited DeGeneres to share the cover of O Magazine with her last year.
Currently in its seventh season, “Ellen” is tied for second place among syndicated talk shows, behind "Oprah," in the key demographic of women 25-54.
(Josef Adalian contributed to this report).