Rated 12th among syndicated talkers, the Meredith Viera Show is testing a range of possible changes, from airing live to adding a panel of recurring guests. “They realize they have a problem,” one executive says.
To boost ratings for its second season this fall, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution’s Meredith Vieira Show is testing possible changes in its format and production schedule, including airing day and date — or live as it did the week of Jan. 19, according to several broadcasters who carry the show.
The show currently tapes five shows over three days each week.
“They realize they have a problem,” says a broadcast executive. “So, now, they’re testing various approaches, including co-hosts and, at least, segments that include [co-hosts].”
Taping live “makes the show more topical,” says the executive. “It allows them to deal with topics like the Academy Awards the day after the awards. Or, if something tragic happens, she can talk about that.”
Vieira has experience hosting live shows such as ABC’s The View and NBC’s morning news show Today, each of which she co-hosted for many years.
Meredith Vieira’s live shows last month averaged a 0.6 rating among women 25-54, flat to the week before, according to Nielsen. The show ranked No. 12 among syndicated talk shows.
However, the show did perk up in several markets, including New York where the household rating rose 13% week over week on NBC-owned WNBC to just under a 1.1, based on metered-market ratings.
Meredith also has been testing recurring guests and panels of guests. On Monday’s show, for instance, for a segment called “Down On Love,” Vieira chatted with panelists Liz Tuccillo, Jacque Reid and Jawn Murray. Today, Bevy Smith from Bravo’s Fashion Queens co-hosted the first 10 minutes with Vieira.
Last month, NBCUniversal announced that Meredith Vieira has been renewed for a second season for fall 2015 on stations that reach 80% of TV homes. In addition to the NBC O&Os, major outlets include stations owned by Hearst, Sinclair, Graham Media and Scripps.
A spokesperson for NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution declined to discuss changes in the show other than to say the producers are continually tweaking it.