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Syndicators Roll Out New Talkers, Formats

1/05/2003 07:00:00 PM Eastern

After Dr. Phil
showed in 2002 that smash hits still can happen on daytime TV, syndicators will escort several famous names to the sunlight hours in 2003 hoping it can happen again.

Shopping for a First-Run Show or Two?
Here are the major strips available this year
Program Distributor Type Terms Launch
*Show has had limited regional or station-group run, is now being offered nationally.
Source: Company reports, Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Bilotti, published reports
Ask Rita Litton Syndications Half-hour relationship cash + barter Jan. 2003
eBay TV Sony Pictures Hour reality barter only Fall 2003
Ellen DeGeneres Warner Bros. Hour talk/variety cash + barter Fall 2003
Ex-Treme Dating Twentieth Half-hour relationship barter only June 2003*
Fergie Universal Hour talk cash + barter Fall 2003
Good Day Live Twentieth Hour news/talk cash + barter Jan. 2003*
Living it Up! King World Hour talk cash + barter Fall 2003
Sharon Osbourne Warner Bros. Hour talk cash + barter Fall 2003
Starting Over NBC Enterprises Hour reality cash + barter Fall 2003
Wayne Brady Buena Vista Hour talk/variety cash + barter Fall 2003*

Warner Bros. Domestic Television is developing a talk show for comic Ellen DeGeneres and another for Sharon Osbourne, a star of MTV's surprise hit reality show, The Osbournes. And Universal Domestic Television is bringing royalty to daytime with talk show Fergie, starring Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

"It's so hard in today's environment to just get people to pay attention and watch your show," said Steve Rosenberg, president of Universal Domestic Television. "You want someone involved that is easily branded."

In one instance, King World's Living It Up With Ali and Jack, the distributor hopes that its fun and professional—but comparatively unfamiliar hosts—will bring life to the tried-and-true daytime talk and variety format.

On the pages that follow, BROADCASTING & CABLE capsulizes the shows that will be peddled at NATPE later this month.

The big shows, profiled on pages 18 through 23, are the ones major syndicators are counting on for the last New Orleans NATPE, Jan. 20-23.

They include big names, of course, and big ideas.

For handy example, eBay TV
is different enough that it's hard to explain, except to say that it will try to meld the Internet auction Web site with features on hobbyists who often troll eBay for hidden treasures. Starting Over,
from NBC Enterprises is reality television for daytime watchers, in which several women share a home and try to solve their own problems or fulfill their dreams.

This year will see few new game, court or relationship shows, although twists on such shows are either in very early development, or are already developed and awaiting national launches.

Twentieth Television is expanding its Ex-Treme Dating, starring Jillian Barberie nationwide starting in June. Paramount is tinkering with the idea of rolling out a new combination court/relationship show tentatively titled Love or Money.

More certain is Paramount's plan to roll out a half-hour daily spin-off of Entertainment Tonight's "Insider" segment as a daily show for fall 2004.

Tribune Entertainment is considering a court show called Mobile Court, in which a California judge travels around to resolve conflicts.

Litton Syndications next fall will roll out Ask Rita, starring comedian Rita Rudner, and already cleared on some ABC owned-and-operated stations. She'll do her show from Las Vegas, and Litton thinks it will be saucy enough many stations will choose to air it in late night spots.

NBC plans in January or February to try out six episodes of a remake of Let's Make a Deal, starring Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, in prime time. If the show works, NBC Enterprises could launch it in syndication next year but probably with a different host.

Finally, Telco Pictures brings the cop genre to daytime with its new Missing, which profiles missing people. Missing will combine the resources of the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the local police.

March