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The Syndication Scorecard

Here’s what you need to know heading into the upfront

With upfront season upon us, the focus this week is on first-run syndication and the categories of talk, court, game and magazine. Unlike the broadcast networks and cable, which battle for eyeballs against the rise of mobile devices and streaming services (like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu), the inherent advantage in syndication is the stability. Advertisers can more easily target their buys in daytime, and the added advantage is that most of the target females still prefer to watch their favorite shows live.

Naturally, the shortage of available time periods in recent years has inhibited the launch of new strips. Only “Harry” from NBCUniveral, hosted by Harry Connick Jr., debuted nationally in first-run syndication this season and the ratings are modest. With more stations producing shows locally (including upcoming panel talker “Sister Circle” and weekly competition “Sing Like a Star,” both from Tegna), the majority of occupants in syndication remain the established entries.

Of course, no show can last forever, not even in syndication. “The Insider” from CBS Television Distribution (CTD) has been canceled, marking the first over decade-old strip to exit in years, and other veterans are beginning to look questionable.

For a look at the current status of each genre, click here

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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