First Run 2006: Off And Running


It’s early yet, but first-run syndicated development is already under way for fall 2006, with talk, court, health, beauty and living well programs dominating the agenda at this point.

The furthest along appears to be NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, which reportedly is close to announcing a new talk show with Megan Mullally.

The high-pitched Will & Grace co-star, a versatile performer, is said to be in final negotiations with the syndicator for a fall 2006 talker.The distributor declined comment Tuesday morning, but the long-running NBC sitcom is likely going into its final season this fall, which means Mullally would be looking for a new gig in a year.

According to a report, NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker engineered the deal, as he did with this season’s canceled Jane Pauley Show and this fall’s upcoming Mark Burnett-produced Martha Stewart talk show, aptly named Martha.

Additionally, industry sources say Twentieth TV is producing four or five “mini-pilots,” or presentation tapes, with various judges for fall 2006, picking one or two to go into production.

Twentieth, which also declined comment, has been heavily into the court genre, and will likely replace Texas Justice this fall with its new strip, Judge Alex. Fox’s in-house syndication supplier has traditionally used a slow rollout strategy with its gavel bangers on the Fox O&Os before taking them national., meanwhile, is said to be pursuing a deal to get a “living well” show off the ground, and other health and beauty pitches are making the rounds.