Five Questions for EVP David Spiegelman


What do you think will be the next trend in syndication?

I think reality shows will be very successful. I think people are trying to come up with big event-type programming, something similar to Survivor. In such a cluttered marketplace, you have to figure out some way to leave your stamp. I think people are going to really push the envelope.

Is there a show currently in syndication that you wish you could distribute?

Anything that's successful I would want. It's easy to say the already successful shows. What I would like is the next show that's going to be the next No. 1 strip or next No. 1 weekly hour. Hopefully, we have it, and the best is yet to come.

How has consolidation of the syndication business affected New Line?

It makes life much more challenging. Because, with more and more people joining forces, it makes it more challenging for me to get time periods. But it also gives us the opportunity to bring our show to just one outlet and get a base deal, i.e. the Tribune group.

Is there any talent or show that you passed on and would like back?

We had a program, Court TV: Inside America's Courts, and brought it out the same year that they brought Judge Judy
out. I wish that we had done ours differently. We should have made it more of an entertainment-based courtroom program vs. a news-based courtroom program.

Where do you think syndication is going to be 10 years from now?

I think it will be around. Viewers find good programming, so I don't think it matters where it airs. As long as you have a good show, viewers will find it. It doesn't matter if it's on a good station or a bad station. TNN has huge numbers (with its World Wrestling Federation franchise). Look at what Millionaire
did for ABC or Survivor
for CBS.