October 28, 2013 6:34am PT by Marisa Guthrie
Meredith Vieira's Talk Show Sold in 60 Percent of Country
The Meredith Vieira Show has been sold in 60 percent of the country, including Hearst Television, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, LIN Media, Young Broadcasting and Cox Media Group.
The daytime talk show, which is set to bow in fall 2014, is distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and will air on NBC-owned television stations.
"The response from our station partners has been tremendous. We are very pleased with the fantastic reception that we have received over the past few weeks for the upcoming The Meredith Vieira Show," said Ed Swindler, president of NBCU Domestic Television Distribution. "Meredith has an ongoing genuine relationship with the daytime viewer. And her authentic, fun and down-to-earth style creates an instant connection with the daytime audience."
Vieira will join a daytime field that already includes top talkers Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Ellen and The Talk as well as Steve Harvey, which also airs on NBC-owned stations.
Meanwhile, veteran daytime show The View, which already added Jenny McCarthy to the couch this season, will have at least one more addition to its panel next season with Barbara Walters' planned retirement in May.
However, it is unlikely that Vieira will be joining a daytime field that includes Katie Couric, whom Vieira succeeded as co-host of Today. Couric is not expected to continue with her ABC program beyond its current second season.
And it's unclear how many members of this year's freshman class will make it to a second season. Bethenny Frankel has struggled to attract viewers and A-list guests. Rumors of the demise of Kris Jenner's show, which had a summer trial run on Fox stations, have swirled since August. Only Queen Latifah's Sony-produced talker, which airs on CBS stations, seems a shoo-in for a second season.
Vieira's show will be produced from New York City on a set that resembles Vieira's home and will focus on feel-good stories about everyday people as well as celebrities. Rich Sirop, Vieira's good friend and producer on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, will serve as executive producer on her talk show, which will also feature games and giveaways that get the studio audience involved. Vieira plans to have a house band as well.
"The whole idea is to entertain and hopefully inspire people," Vieira told The Hollywood Reporter during an interview last summer. "I want it to be positive and hopefully combine my experiences with talk and broadcast journalism and also the game show."