ABC Developing Shows Featuring Cable Stars

Spelling, Lewis, Boome all under consideration
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ABC Media Productions is in development on at least two
programs that could air on any one of the media conglomerates television
platforms, including network, cable or syndication.

ABC is pairing Tori Spelling, whose reality shows with her
family have performed solidly for Oxygen, with Bravo's Jeff Lewis, who stars in
real estate show, Flipping Out. The
LA Times' Joe Flint first reported the news
. Ironically, both stars appear
on cable networks owned by NBC Universal.

Also in development at ABC is a talk/cooking hybrid show with
Food Network star Danny Boome, who hosts Rescue
Chef
on the Scripps-owned network.

An ABC spokesman would only say, "we do have shows in development
but we do not comment on the development slate."

While either show could be an option for various ABC
platforms, network daytime is probably not one of them. The network currently
airs four shows in daytime -- General Hospital,
One Life to Live, All My Children and The View -- and none of those shows are expected to go off the air
anytime soon. That means the only way the network could put on a new show in
daytime is to wrench another hour away from affiliates, and that's unlikely.

Syndication is a possibility, especially because ABC
stations have an hour to fill due to the departure of CBS Television
Distribution's Oprah next fall. Most
of those stations have already determined what they will put in the time period,
but considering the rate of failure in daytime television, stations could be
rotating programs through that hour for a few years before they settle on a
show. A successful syndication launch requires that a show be picked up in all
major markets, so ABC's best bet is if all eight (two ABC-owned stations in
Flint, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio are being sold to SJL Broadcasting) stations
were on board.ABC's distribution arm could then sell the show to stations across the country.

Finally, ABC Media Studios also could develop shows for its
own cable networks or to be distributed to networks owned by other media
conglomerates.

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