Susanne Ault -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/7/2001 7:00:00 PM
Buena Vista Television
Iyanla, Buena Vista Television's new talk entry, already has what some chat shows just dream about. The fall 2001 daytime strip, starring best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant, has signed Barbara Walters as an executive producer and has won an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey.
Buena Vista hopes the combined firepower of Walters, currently executive-producing ABC daytime hit The View, and current talk leader Winfrey, who has frequently invited Vanzant on her show as a guest, will distinguish the show from a pack of talkers gunning for viewers this fall.
"You're looking at the two most powerful women in TV-Oprah and Barbara-who have identified Iyanla as a super talent," says Janice Marinelli, Buena Vista Television's president." And I think that speaks loudly in this marketplace."
Bill Geddie, another executive producer from The View, is also on board as an executive producer for Iyanla.
Vanzant is best-known for writing a slew of self-help books, including In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and The Love You Want. One common theme running through her novels is the belief that the house is a metaphor for life, where people must move from the basement into the attic for ultimate happiness.
BVT's Marinelli insists Iyanla, a single-topic, one-hour talker taped in New York before a studio audience, is not going to be a rehash of her books. Vanzant may incorporate some of her ideas into the show's topics, centering on how to make the most of oneself, but the various segments will be broad in scope.
Studio/Distributor: Buena Vista Television
Debut: Fall 2001
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