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NATPE Means Deals for Some

1/25/2004 07:00:00 PM Eastern

NATPE may be over, but syndicators still are working hard to win make-or-break clearances for new shows from major TV-station groups.

Still without such deals are Universal's still-untitled talk show executive-produced by Jennifer Lopez and Warner Bros.' two latecomers, talk shows featuring radio commentator Larry Elder and TV and radio star Steve Harvey.

Universal says the show will be on the air next fall, although it wouldn't confirm any clearances.

Late last week, Sony said it had cleared its two first-run offerings, Pat Croce: Moving In
and Life & Style, in 60% of the country. Croce
scored nine Viacom stations in the top 10 markets, while Life & Style
landed on five of the 10.

Five shows emerged from NATPE with green lights: NBC Enterprises' The Jane Pauley Show, cleared in 95% of the country; Paramount's The Insider
at 90%; Universal's Home Delivery
at 70%; Twentieth's Ambush Makeover
at 70%; and Buena Vista's The Tony Danza Show
at more than 50%, including the ABC owned stations.

All these shows had an edge because their producers also own stations or are partnering with a station group. For instance, both Buena Vista and the ABC stations are owned by Disney. And the key to Universal's success in clearing Home Delivery
was its partnership with the Tribune station group. Tribune stations reach 40% of TV homes.

Sources say Home Delivery
likely will take the place of Warner Bros.' Sharon Osbourne Show
on the Tribune stations, although neither Warner Bros. nor Tribune would confirm that.

Syndicators are vying for time slots now held by King World's low-rated Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
on the CBS owned-and-operated stations.

Stations signed two-year contracts with time-period locks for Living It Up!, although that doesn't guarantee the show will return next year. Sources say King World and Viacom station-group executives are in discussions about whether to keep the show.

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