See Jane Talk
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/18/2004 8:00:00 PM
NBC is focusing on more than prime time after the Summer Olympics. It plans to launch The Jane Pauley Show on August 30—backed by the biggest ad budget in NBC Enterprises' three-year history, say NBC Agency Co-Presidents John Miller and Vince Manze.
And expectations are high.
With executive producer Michael Weiser at the helm, the show's senior staff is coming together. Colleen Halpin, a longtime Dateline producer who already has a relationship with Pauley, will be the show's No. 2. Meredith Paige, who won eight Emmys producing the "up close and personal" segments at the Atlanta, Sydney, and Salt Lake City Olympics, is the show's senior field producer. Segments illustrating each day's featured topic will play a big part in the program, says NBC Enterprises Senior Vice President Linda Finnell.
"We don't want to see the same old talk shows rehashed, rehashed, rehashed," warns Mark Barash, director of programming for Cox Broadcasting's NBC stations. "We hope they don't take for granted that, because they have a great talent, they have a great show. But I think they understand."
The show's senior producers include Laurie Weiss, who comes from local television in Detroit, and Marlene Selip, who was a top producer on Donahue, as well as on NBC Enterprises'The John Walsh Show. Andy Barsh, also from Walsh, will direct. Last week, NBC executives selected a set designer, although the deal was not sealed by press time.
Pauley is cleared in 98% of the country and 189 markets. Although that's a respectable launch number, NBC Enterprises plans to keep pushing until it is in all 211 markets, says Executive Vice President Barry Wallach.
Of those clearances, some 70% are in early fringe, and 30% are in daytime. The show will serve as a lead-in for the evening news in nearly half the country, Wallach says. Pauley is cleared mostly at 10 a.m., although schedules for many TV stations have not yet been set.
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