'Morning Show' will end in September

Twentieth won't renew syndicated talk show

Twentieth Television has opted not to renew its syndicated talker "The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet," citing economic concerns.

Meanwhile, the distributor also said Thursday that it has cleared off-net sitcom "My Name Is Earl" in more than 25 markets, representing 47% of the country, for its fall 2009 launch in syndication.

As for "The Morning Show," Twentieth TV president and COO Bob Cook said: "Over the past two years, we set out to produce a high-quality show that provided viewers with an engaging source of entertainment; we believe we accomplished this goal. Unfortunately, the current serious economic conditions made it challenging to continue producing the type of unique program that we wanted to deliver."

The New York-based strip will produce original episodes through June and will be broadcast until September.

It's understood that some of the stations airing "The Morning Show" are considering expanding their local news programming to fill the void. The move would make sense for the Fox O&Os in particular as those stations have already been ramping up their local news coverage and could expand their local "Good Day" shows by an hour.

Cook also praised hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy and executive producer David Brown, along with the rest of the staff, station partners and advertisers.

Along with "Earl," Twentieth TV also is offering stations the first-run game show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, for fall 2009.