Tony Danza Steps In1/18/2004 07:00:00 PM Eastern
With The Wayne Brady Show
officially canceled, Buena Vista has cleared The Tony Danza Show
in 45% of the country, including ABC owned stations in the three of the top five markets.
"This is truly an outstanding launch," says John Bryan, Buena Vista executive vice president of sales. "The quality of stations is fantastic, and that speaks volumes about Tony's talents, charisma, and his ability to connect with and deliver an audience. We couldn't be happier."
On at least the three ABC owned stations in Buena Vista's initial group—WABC-TV New York, WPVI-TV Philadelphia and KGO-TV San Francisco—Tony Danza
will take Wayne Brady's time slot, following Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly
at 10 a.m.
In other major markets, Tony Danza
is cleared on Post-Newsweek's WDIV-TV Detroit; Gannett's WTSP-TV Tampa, Fla.; Post-Newsweek's WPLG-TV Miami; Cox's WFTV-TV Orlando, Fla.; and McGraw-Hill's KGTV-TV San Diego.
Danza's show will be more talk than variety, Buena Vista says, even though Danza is an experienced song-and-dance man. The syndicator is counting on Danza's widespread recognition as a prime time star to connect with the women who primarily make up daytime's audience. The show will mix celebrity interviews with human-interest segments.
"Tony's such a good conversationalist," says Holly Jacobs, BVT executive vice president of programming and development. "He's a wonderful listener, and his interests range from politics to everyday life to raising kids to pop culture. He's a man who has teen daughters, so he's as obsessed with The O.C.
and Trista and Ryan's wedding as every woman who watches daytime television."
Only Buena Vista and NBC Enterprises, with The Jane Pauley Show, are launching single-host talk shows for next year. Other shows from major syndicators are hosted by panels, such as Sony's Life & Style; are a twist on Dr. Phil's brand of self-help, such as Sony's Pat Croce: Moving In; or are something new in entertainment magazines, such as Twentieth's On Air With Ryan Seacrest
or Paramount's The Insider.