Local stations deploy Oprah proteges Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz after Queen of All Media's departure this fall
Besides changing the face of daytime television nationally, turns out Oprah Winfrey’s departure from broadcasting will have a significant impact on local TV schedules, too.
Once her blockbuster daytime show Oprah leaves the airwaves in September, local stations have lined up an array of Winfrey-related programs to fill the gaps.
On CBS affiliate WTSP, her protege Dr. Phil McGraw will see his Dr. Phil talk show move to 4 p.m. Sept. 12, a move previously disallowed by an agreement between host Phil McGraw and his mentor Winfrey, who insisted his show could not air against her in any TV market.
That's the same shuffle which allows Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8 to replace Oprah with another Winfrey spin-off, Mehmet Oz's Dr. Oz, airing at 4 p.m. in September after the station stops airing reruns of Winfrey’s show.
And there's further ripples: WTSP will move low-rated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to 7:30 p.m. (along with Inside Edition at 7 p.m.), filling Dr. Phil's old time period. Perhaps fans will see some local contestants; the show held tryouts Wednesday in the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
But those shows may be placeholders for one season. Come fall 2012, WTSP will debut popular game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy in the 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. timeslots.
Both shows were made available when the company which owns rival WFTS, E.W. Scripps, decided to develop its own programs for all 10 television stations in the chain. A WFTS official said a local newscast or news-oriented program is one option under discussion.
She may be gone to cableland to rescue her OWN channel, but the Queen of All Media isn't yet done influencing our local TV scene.