Sony Pictures Television is preparing eBayTV for a fall 2004 launch, hiring veteran sportscaster Ahmad Rashad to co-host the strip with Molly Pesce.
"In exploring this show, we looked at the brand we want the show to have," said Russ Krasnoff, president of programming and production for Sony. "We love Molly Pesce but we felt she needed somebody to bounce off of. While she is fun and upbeat, we also wanted someone who could anchor a little more. When we looked at our choices, we fell in love with Ahmad."
Over the past two weeks, Sony shot a pilot with Rashad and Pesce in an empty store that overlooks the courtyard of The Grove, a large upscale Los Angeles shopping mall.
Considering the show's content—covering stories generated by eBay's on-line auction community—Sony decided it would be interesting to shoot the show at a real-life marketplace. The syndicator is seriously considering The Grove for eBayTV's permanent home.
EBayTV has been under development for a long time. So far, Sony's launch group includes stations from the Viacom, Gannett, Belo, Raycom, Clear Channel, Pegasus, Media General, Cox, Capitol, Emmis, Evening Post and Quorum. But Sony is not giving out a clearance number. Along with the show, stations also will get software from eBay and Sony to run their own branded auction sites.