More TV stations are signing up for the sassy daytime talk show "The Real," starring Tamar Braxton, which is scheduled to roll out next fall.
Warner Bros. Television announced this week that TV stations owned by Cox, Sinclair, Gannett, Raycom, Media General and others have locked up the rights to the one-hour program.
After a promising test run last summer, Fox Television stations in October agreed to be the primary station group to launch the program in fall 2014. The newly signed stations bring the show's clearance rate to about 70% of the country.
In addition to Braxton, the cast includes Tamera Mowry-Housley, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai. The show will be produced in Los Angeles by Warner Bros.' Telepictures Productions.
"The Real" generated better-than-expected ratings last summer when it aired for four weeks on seven TV stations, including Fox's KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles and stations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Its ratings eclipsed that of another promising pilot that featured Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. Warner Bros. chalked up the success of "The Real" to an increasing appetite among daytime audiences for authentic and diverse voices.
"The Real" is the latest example of TV programmers embracing African American, Latino and Asian American entertainers as bankable stars. Fox could schedule "The Real" on the stations it owns as a companion to a talk show featuring Wendy Williams, a former radio personality, who has seen her TV audience surge this season.
During last summer's test run, the women of "The Real" talked about previously off-limits topics such as the size of their rear ends. The women also slung insults at one another.
Warner Bros. was particularly pleased because the show appealed to older women as well as younger women at a time when some daytime shows have seen an uptick in the median age of their audiences.
“This year, more so than in most, there are limited opportunities for new shows and we are thrilled stations have selected ‘The Real’ as their choice,” Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, said in a statement.
This fall, Sony Television rolled out an expensive talk show featuring Queen Latifah and produced in Culver City.
Programmers are gearing up to launch three original syndicated shows next fall. In addition to Warner Bros.' "The Real," NBC is planning a talk show featuring Meredith Vieira, who was immensely popular when she co-hosted NBC's "Today" show.
Debmar-Mercury and FremantleMedia North America are gearing up a new pop culture game show, "Celebrity Name Game," starring late night host Craig Ferguson. Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, has picked up the Ferguson show for its TV stations.
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