News Articles

Debmar, Fox Hope This 'Nanny' Is Super

Fran Drescher talker launches 3-week preview on 6 stations 11/28/2010 11:01:00 PM Eastern

Fran Drescher, best known for her successful
mid-1990s primetime run on CBS’ The Nanny, is
returning to television as host of her own talk
show, which has begun a three-week preview on six Fox
owned-and-operated stations.

The Fran Drescher Show, which is a coproduction of
Debmar-Mercury and the Fox Television Stations group,
is airing on WNYW New York at noon, KTTV Los Angeles
at 2 p.m., WTXF Philadelphia at noon, KSAZ Phoenix at
1 p.m., KMSP Minneapolis at 1 p.m. and WOFL Orlando
at 11 a.m. The show’s preview was scheduled to kick off
on Friday, Nov. 26 and run
through Friday, Dec. 17.

“Fran is the perfect person
to bring a new ‘voice,’ if you
will, to daytime,” Frank Cicha,
senior VP/programming
for Fox Television Stations,
said in a statement. “The female
audience knows her,
likes her, and we expect the
show to bring energy and freshness to these time periods.”

If all goes well, Debmar-Mercury will begin pitching the
show to stations for a fall 2011 debut.

For Debmar-Mercury, going well means “the show ought
to be able to hold and build an audience, and it has to
stand on its own creatively,” says Ira Bernstein, the company’s
copresident.

Debmar-Mercury is a fan of bringing out shows for an
initial test, as it did with Wendy Williams, which now airs
on Fox stations and others across the country. “We think
Fran has tremendous upside and tremendous potential, but we don’t fully know yet. That’s why we do these
tests,” says Bernstein.

Like all daytime talk show hosts, Drescher
will tackle issues that appeal to
women, everything from “politics to
pedicures,”
according to her. Drescher
also will serve as an executive producer
of
the show, alongside Scott
Sternberg
and Peter Marc Jacobson,
Drescher’s ex-husband and with
whom
she created, wrote and
produced The Nanny.

“Some of the best TV
hosts—including Oprah,
Regis and Ellen—also have
been known as good
producers,” says Mort
Marcus, copresident of
Debmar-Mercury. “And
Fran is a highly intelligent,
highly educated adult
woman
who’s been through a lot.
Women watching daytime television
will relate to her.”

While Drescher
is known as the woman
with the crazy laugh,
she’s also the best-selling
author of Cancer Schmancer, and a survivor of
both cancer and rape.

“America will have a chance to see the real Fran
Drescher, beyond The Nanny. I’m the girl next door, a
self-made woman who has been to hell and back a few
times,” said Drescher in a statement.

Like Debmar-Mercury, the Fox station group has
embraced the idea of testing new shows before committing
to air them across the entire group. The
group’s last two tests—The Kilborn Files, featuring
former late-night talk-show host Craig Kilborn,
and Huckabee, fronted by
former Arkansas Governor
and Republican presidential candidate Mike
Huckabee—each aired
last summer. Both shows
underperformed. Wendy Williams is now in its
second season, although it ranks last among
first-run talk shows.

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