Launch position good for Hunt


Warner Bros. said Monday that it has now cleared its upcoming Bonnie Hunt-hosted talk show in more than 55% of the country for its fall 2008 launch in syndication.

The hourlong strip, titled "The Bonnie Hunt Show," has now been cleared in 15 of the top 20 markets. The news follows last month's announcement that the show had been cleared on nine of the NBC Universal Television Stations under a two-year deal.

The series has now been sold to stations from such other groups as Hearst-Argyle, Gannett, Belo, Scripps, McGraw-Hill, Lin, Allbritton, Fox, Tribune, Clear Channel, Young, Sinclair, Schurz, Miller, Bonten Media Group and Four Points.

New stations signing on include WCVB Boston (Hearst-Argyle), KSAZ Phoenix and KMSP Minneapolis-St. Paul (Fox Television Stations), WFTS Tampa (Scripps) and KING Seattle (Belo). They join NBC O&Os including WNBC New York, KNBC Los Angeles and WMAQ Chicago.

"NBC selected 'The Bonnie Hunt Show' as their top choice for fall '08, and in a little over three short weeks, many prominent broadcasters have also joined the Bonnie Hunt fan club," Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution president Ken Werner said.

The talk show is produced by Bob & Alice Prods. and paraMedia Inc. in association with Telepictures Prods. Hunt is executive producing with Jim Paratore and Don Lake.

Hunt is "a breakthrough talent possessing an original point of view with the skills, breadth of experience and relatability necessary to become the next talk show franchise," Telepictures president Hilary Estey McLoughlin said.

Separately on Monday, a WBDTD spokesperson confirmed that the syndicator would be returning to the floor at NATPE's 2008 Conference & Exhibition at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, joining its international counterpart, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. WBDTD had been doing business out of a suite at NATPE since 2003.