The list of syndicated TV programs that have come and gone over the past 8 years would fill a book. Part of Dish Nation’s success is its original concept. Throw popular, well-known morning-drive radio personalities together with a comedian, an old school hip-hop artist, a real housewife, and a sassy fashionista to dish about celebrities and pop culture in the news.
Dish Nation, Fox Television’s half-hour syndicated entertainment show featuring celebrity news and funny commentary, is entering into its eighth season in TV syndication.
“Yeah eight seasons,” said Stephen Brown, FOX’s EVP of programming and development. “We are kind of hitting that, ‘oh we are part of the fabric of your lives every day’. Which is a great thing, a great indicator for the longevity of the show.”
Brown’s right. The list of syndicated TV programs that have come and gone over the past eight years would fill a book.
Dish Nation airs all over the country on the Fox-owned TV stations, but also appears on other network affiliates and independent stations, clearing 116 markets covering approximately 70% of the nation.
Part of Dish Nation’s success is its original concept. Throw popular, well-known morning-drive radio personalities together with a comedian, an old school hip-hop artist, a real housewife and a sassy fashionista to dish about celebrities and pop culture in the news. Whoever and whatever’s in the news is fair game.
“At the end of the day, what makes this unique is that all of these people are used to being live and riffing off of each other,” said Brown.
“We have a team that’s been together about seven years that meets every day to go over stuff. You know these characters just as you would in a morning radio show. You kind of know how they are going to react to different stories and that is the delight of it.”
The team members are in two different locations, Atlanta and Los Angeles. After their respective radio shows, they all sit down in front of Dish Nation’s seven cameras, “and do their stuff,” said Brown.
Rickey Smiley is the star of the nationally syndicated radio program The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. Joining Smiley in Atlanta is Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta; hip-hop artist Headkrack; rapper and actress Da Brat; and fashion reporter Gary with Da Tea.
From L.A. are morning drive DJs Frank Kramer and Heidi Hamilton co-hosts of The Frosty, Heidi & Frank Show on KLOS-FM.
Brown said the idea is simple. “We are trying to take the best elements of radio — live reads, the personalities, the quick answer, the talk element — and bring them to television.”
Across the country, Dish Nation airs in just about every time period throughout the day, but in Philadelphia, on WTXF, the Fox O&O, it airs in prime access at 7, a very important time leading into Fox prime entertainment programming.
“It truly works well for us in prime access,” said Dennis Bianchi, WTXF’s general manager. “We have it paired with TMZ. They work well together.”
Bianchi said in February, Dish Nation’s ratings among syndicated entertainment news programs was tied for No. 2 among adults 25-54.
Bianchi said the format of the show makes it successful.
“Folks on the radio every day have the time to talk about different subjects and different topics. They are so good on their feet. They are funny, tuned in and well versed. It’s not difficult to produce, so it works on all those elements.”
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