WDRB Hopes Its Viewers Loves ‘Laughs’

The Block Communications Louisville, Ky., Fox affil is the only non-Fox O&O to participate in the summer 13-week test of the stand-up comedy show.

For the first time in its history, Fox is testing a new show on a TV station it doesn’t own.

WDRB, Block Communications’ Fox affiliate in Louisville, Ky. (DMA 49), is one of 11 stations that debuted the stand-up comedy show Laughs on Saturday as part of a 13-week test run. The 10 other stations are all Fox O&O’s in markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

WDRB GM Bill Lamb says being in on testing the show stems from his personal relationship with Fox Stations CEO Jack Abernethy, who offered it up. Airing it “from a logical standpoint makes sense” as the show, in which comic Steve Hofstetter features other stand-up acts, is produced in Louisville, he says.

Segments are also shot in the city where Hofstetter, a New Yorker, owns a comedy club.

Lamb says he is “excited” about giving exposure to a series “that is going to make a lot of people laugh.”

“Since Johnny Carson went away there really hasn’t been a reliable platform to launch comics in this country,” he says. “This is a program that could really be a launch pad for a lot of comics and I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to laugh.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Lamb is airing the half-hour show at 11 p.m. Saturdays on WDRB, and then repeats it at p.m. Sundays on WMYO, the company’s MNT affiliate. Most of the Fox-owned stations are airing the show at midnight, putting it up against Saturday Night Live repeats, according to a spokeswoman.

WDRB went heavy on promoting the show prior to its launch. Hofstetter was a morning show guest twice, and the station ran promos that are “a little off the wall” featuring the comic in a pitch meeting.

“I think it’s going to be good,” Lamb says.

Lamb says doing the series post-production in Louisville is a bit of a boon for the local industry, as the city’s production houses more often work on industrial films and commercials than a national series.

He also expects it to be successful, given how fast and entertaining it is.

“This is the kind of show that is just going to get better every week as more and more comics hear about it and want to participate in it,” Lamb says.

“I can’t think of one single reason why I wouldn’t run this.


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