2011 Syndie Scene Hardly SettledFox 21/Trifecta shops new dating show; Warner Bros. back-burners two projects 10/11/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
It remains to be seen whether Anderson
Cooper could be a game-changer for first-run
syndication, but the project has definitely
shaken up some other plans.
At Warner Bros. alone, the arrival of Cooper is
forcing a rearranging of priorities. Shows in development—
including one featuring Loveline’s Dr.
Drew Pinsky and another featuring dating guru
Steve Ward—are both now on the back burner.
Both shows remain potential offerings, although
with Warner Bros. preoccupied with Cooper’s project,
neither show is expected to make it on the air
by next fall.
The dating genre is also poised to make a comeback,
with Fox 21 and Trifecta Entertainment working
on a program titled Geek Meets Girl. If Ward’s
show, tentatively titled Tough Love, ended up going
forward, the dating genre would suddenly be reconstituted.
The last dating shows went off the air
in 2006, when Universal’s Blind Date and Telepictures’
elimiDATE were cancelled.
As for Cooper, Warner Bros. is pitching the CNN
host as a replacement program for CBS Television
Distribution’s Oprah, which ends its storied run after this
season. Many stations already have determined how they
will fill the slot, but programming decisions can be flexible.
Warner Bros. executives believe they can convince stations
to instead give Anderson Cooper a try.
“He’s going to be on the air,” said one person close to the
deal. “I think that changes the equation.”
“History tells you that a ‘name’ is
going to get cleared,” says Bill Carroll,
vice president, programming,
Katz Television Group Programming.
“A news person or a newsrelated
program is going to get
cleared. It will get on, and it will
make it difficult for anything else
to get on.”
But many other shows, particularly
one-hour talk strips, remain in
Harpo Studios is still said to be
developing a talk show featuring
frequent Oprah guest Jenny Mc-
Carthy that Sony would distribute.
Harpo has syndication’s best track
record when it comes to launching
first-run talk, with Dr. Phil, Rachael
Ray, Dr. Oz and now Nate Berkus
(the latter two with Sony) all up
Jay McGraw, executive producer
of CTD’s The Doctors, continues to
develop The Lawyers, which CTD
would distribute. With CBS opting
to launch The Talk in the open As
the World Turns time slot, the CTD
project featuring Valerie Bertinelli
and Rove McManus appears dead.
Bertinelli also is busy with her new
sitcom, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.
Debmar-Mercury is shopping a
talker featuring British host Jeremy
Kyle that’s already partly sold but is
still seeking clearances in the biggest
markets. Kyle isn’t expected to
compete with Cooper for time slots since the two shows
are being targeted at different types of stations. Debmar-
Mercury also is working on a test with producer ITV Studios
called The Chefs.
And Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition’s personable Ty Pennington and his management team is shopping a talk strip created around him.
and follow her