The trend is no trend

First-run offerings span the spectrum from talk to dating and action to reality

Over the last few seasons, first-run syndication has been a fairly simple tale of copycat court shows and failing celebrity talk shows.

So the trend for 2001-2002? There appears to be no trend at all.

There are no new court shows, only one celebrity-driven talk show (Paramount's Caroline Rhea-hosted show) and only one new magazine series (Litton's weekly Urban Latino). In all, syndicators are bringing at least six new talk shows, three game shows, four relationship series, three reality projects, five action hours, one weekly movie review show and a scripted series.

If there are any trends to speak of, it's on the reality and relationship front, where at least four new dating-based series and a handful of reality projects (thanks to the popularity of Blind Date
and Survivor) are being launched for the fall. If you liked Blind Date
or Change of Heart, this fall you may want to check out Rendez-View
(Paramount), Elimidate
(Warner Bros.), Talk or Walk
(Tribune) and Fifth Wheel
(Universal). Reality series include Western International's Cheaters, in which private investigators provide video of both men and women caught in sticky situations, and Hearst Entertainment's The Bravest, a firefighter version of Cops.

With Xena
and Hercules
gone, syndicators are looking to secure weekend time periods with new action series, including two from Pearson, Colosseum
and Lean Angle; X-Men
spin-off Mutant X
from Tribune; and Hard Knox
from New Line. In terms of game shows, Pearson is bringing back Card Sharks,
and Columbia TriStar will likely be bringing out a new version of Pyramid
-only this time with $100,000 at stake on each episode.

The other first-run offerings coming to NATPE run the gamut, with the new NBC syndication division offering a daytime talk show for women that's hosted by four men ( The Other Half), a psychic medium reaching out to the dead (Studio USA's Crossing Over With John Edward) and Lions Gate's Who Wants to Date a Hooters Girl?

What's new in first-run

Show Distributor


Collosseum (see page 56)

Pearson Television

Hard Knox (see page 45)

New Line Television

Lean Angle (see page 56)

Pearson Television

Mutant-X (see page 50)

Tribune Entertainment

Tracker (see page 52)

Lions Gate/Mercury

The Adventures of Jules Verne (see page 56)

Promark Entertainment


Chicken Soup For The Soul (see page 42)

Litton Inc.

What About Your Friends? (See page 56)

Connection III Ent./Baruch

Entertainment/ News

Hot Ticket (see page 48)

Paramount Domestic TV

Urban Latino (see page 53)

Litton Inc.


Card Sharks (see page 40)

Pearson Television

Pyramid* (see page 51)

Columbia Tri-Star

Who Wants To Date A Hooters Girl? (see page 53)

Lions Gate/Mercury


The Bravest (see page 37)

Hearst Entertainment

Crossing Over With John Edwards (see page 44)

Studios USA Domestic


Cheaters (see page 42)

Western International Synd.

Elimidate (see page 56)

Telepictures Distribution

Fifth Wheel (see page 45)

Universal Worldwide TV

Rendez-View (see page 51)

Paramount Domestic TV

Shipmates* (see page 56)

Columbia TriStar

Talk or Walk (see page 52)

Tribune Entertainment


Ananda (see page 37)

King World Productions

Caroline (see page 42)

Paramount Domestic TV

Iyanla (see page 48)

Buena Vista Television

The Other Half (see page 50)

NBC Enterprises/Syndication

The Tom Leykis Show (see page 56)

Warner Bros. Domestic TV

* Not officially announced

Note: All shows debut in Fall, 2001