Danza Show Is Sure Thing
Los Angeles—Buena Vista can finally report The Tony Danza Show is a firm go. It will be broadcast live from New York starting next fall. The show was picked up by the ABC Station Group, of course, and by Gannett, Hearst-Argyle, Post-Newsweek, Cox, Raycom, Young Broadcasting, and Sinclair, clearing it in more than 65% of the country.
McCain Tackles Kid Food Ads
Washington—Sen. John McCain is going after child obesity and ads said to foster it. On Tuesday, Victoria Rideout, head of the Kaiser Family Foundation's media and health programs, will testify at a hearing of McCain's Commerce Committee about a new study showing that food ads and programming tie-ins directed at children may contribute to unhealthy eating habits. Also testifying: Robert Liodice, president of the Association of National Advertisers; nutrition experts; and officials from the grocery and restaurant industries.
Ricki Lake No More
Los Angeles—Sony's Ricki Lake is calling it quits, though Sony Pictures Entertainment hasn't officially said so. The show held a wrap party last week in New York, and Lake moved permanently to Los Angeles, where she plans to pursue an acting career. She is already attached to a comedy pilot in development at CBS.
What killed Ricki is that the Fox television stations have not renewed the show for a 12th season. Without a wide-reaching launch group on which to carry national advertising, it's nearly impossible to make the economics of a syndicated show work. In January, the Fox stations downgraded Ricki Lake in many markets to make room for Twentieth's On Air With Ryan Seacrest.
"I'm not aware of any renewals for the show, but I have not received an official notification that the show has been canceled," says Bill Carroll, vice president of programming, Katz Television Group Programming. "But at this stage of the game, it would be unusual if the show was going to come back next fall."