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'Ellen' stays on NBC-owned stations for three more seasons

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Warner Bros. Domestic TV announced today that it closed new deals to keep The Ellen DeGeneres Show on NBC-owned-and-operated stations through 2014. Under terms of the new deal, the daytime yakker will continue to air on the Peacock’s 10 stations, including WNBC in New York, KNBC in Los Angeles, and WMAQ in Chicago, through DeGeneres’ 11th season on the air.

The deal prevents the ABC-owned stations from attempting to steal DeGeneres away as a replacement for Oprah Winfrey once the latter host goes off the air in September 2011. DeGeneres’ previous deal was set to expire at the same time as Winfrey’s, so there was some thought that Warner Bros. could have incited a bidding war between NBC and ABC. Even Winfrey appears to see DeGeneres as potential heir apparent; the 55-year-old Winfrey gave Degeneres an early heads up about her plans to leave daytime and both hosts served as guests on each other’s shows (DeGeneres even appeared alongside Winfrey on a cover of O Magazine late last year).