"Rhea" bought by eight ABC O&Os
The programme, successor to The Rosie O'Donnell Show, will begin airing this Fall after Rosie steps down as host. The eight ABC stations that have bought the series are WABC-TV (New York), WPVI-TV (Philadelphia), KGO-TV (San Francisco), KTRK-TV (Houston), WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durham), KFSN-TV (Fresno), WJRT-TV (Flint) and WTVG-TV (Toledo).
"With `The Caroline Rhea Show,' stations are getting a show with a high CPM, advertiser-friendly format, a built-in following and a host that viewers are getting to know more and more through her appearances on `Rosie,'" said Dick Robertson, President of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
"With `The Rosie O'Donnell Show,' we have created a franchise format that doesn't exist anywhere else in syndication," said Jim Paratore, President of Telepictures Productions. "Just like Johnny Carson took over for Jack Parr and Jay Leno took the helm from Johnny, we think that Caroline Rhea will continue the advertiser-friendly franchise that Rosie started five successful years ago."
O'Donnell said it was time for her to "pass the baton" to Rhea, whom she described as "intelligent", "smart" and "sensitive".
"I'm unbelievably grateful for the years of doing the show," she said. "Now it's time to pass the baton, as I think all good artists should. Caroline is very funny -- she's self deprecating, she's intelligent, she's smart, she's sensitive, and she cares about people in a way that's very relatable and accessible. Viewers feel comfortable with Caroline because they know her from sitcoms and they know her from `Hollywood Squares.' They know her as Whoopi's friend and my friend. I think this familiarity is really important in reaching the daytime audience."
The Caroline Rhea Show The series also has been sold in numerous other markets, including Phoenix (KPNX-TV), Sacramento (KOVR-TV), San Diego (KUSI-TV), Kansas City (KSHB-TV), Albuquerque (KOB-TV), Las Vegas (KLAS-TV), Mobile (WPMI-TV), Green Bay (WLUK-TV), Springfield, MO (KOLR-TV), Ft. Meyers (WINK-TV), Chattanooga (WRCB-TV), South Bend (WNDU-TV), Colorado Springs (KOAA-TV) and Tri-Cities (WKPT-TV).